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13 Ways Successful Women Strike A Balance Between Work And Family

13 Ways Successful Women Strike A Balance Between Work And Family

Today’s modern working woman often has an array of many hats that she has to wear on any given day and in any given moment.

Hats can include but are not limited to… mom, chauffeur, chef, coach, wife, sister, moderator, negotiator, colleague, boss and many, many more.

Over the last 15 years in my work as an executive coach, I have had the joy of working with all sorts of amazing and successful women from around the globe. Their struggles are variations on a theme, as they try to find greater balance between the different facets of their lives while doing their best to express their genius and talents through their career and family.

As women, we’re great caretakers and will put the needs and priorities of others first but over time this only leads to failure.

What I’ve consistently seen is that most women think “I just can’t have it all.” They’re resigned to the thinking that somewhere in their busy days something has to give and most times they’re the one left holding the short stick. Often overlooking their own health and well-being in order to take care of all the competing priorities of their career and family.

So how can you actually “have your cake and eat it too?”

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Instead of trying to slice up your time fifteen ways to Sunday to fit in everything in, you have to first start with your own mindset – that your health and well-being matters. And then put into practice some new habits that will regularly fill you up so you can better serve those around you.

Here are 13 secrets of successful working women from around the world to help you adjust your thinking, and positively shift your priorities to make time for the life you’ve been dreaming of living. A life where there is a balance between a thriving career and a happy home life.

1. Set Your Compass

compass

    In other words, get clear on your core values and purpose. Your values and purpose are your internal compass for how to best utilize the natural gifts, talents and genius that you uniquely have to express in the world through your work. When you can walk your path and remain true to your values and gifts, it naturally reduces the amount of stress you experience as you honor yourself and your spirit in all that you think, say, and do in each day.

    2. Manage Your Own Health First

    If you’re energy is low and you don’t have the umph to take care of the other important people and things in your life, then everybody loses.

    Be sure to eat healthy foods that feed your body with good nutrition, and make time for some kind of regular exercise so you can work out the stresses of everyday life. If you don’t, these stressors can build up in your system and lead to a variety of health issues both mental and physical, so dodge the bullet by being proactive in taking good care of yourself. Your loved ones will thank you!

    3. Communicate Your Wants And Needs Clearly

    As much as we would like to think that our significant others can read our minds, they (mostly) can’t. Instead of having to make them guess and be disappointed when they don’t figure out exactly what you want, ask for what you need. Practice having open, honest and heartfelt conversations with your loved ones so all involved feel seen, heard and respected. They will appreciate it and you’ll avoid the mistake of assumptions gone awry.

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    4. Fill Your Own Cup

    Fill Your Own Cup

      Be sure to take time out for things that rejuvenate your spirit. Things like meditation, prayer, getting a fabulous massage or a mani-pedi, doing yoga, or taking a walk during your lunch break are all great ways to de-stress and fill your cup back up with goodness. Find a few ways that work for you and practice them regularly. It will calm your mind and ease your spirit.

      5. Giving And Receiving 100%

      It’s often said that being in a relationship is a give and take. That you each give 50% to the whole of the relationship to make it “work” at 100% – right? But the real key is to give 100% of yourself, your attention and your time in the moment, to your loved ones while asking them to give 100% of themselves to the relationship as well.

      In other words, when you’re with your significant other (or with a colleague for that matter), be there fully in the moment with them as best you can. When you give your all, they can feel it. And as human beings, when we feel seen and heard fully, our hearts open and it creates a stronger connection with another. This helps to build trust and collaboration which goes a long way towards reducing misunderstandings.

      6. Be Clear On Your Priorities

      What is the most important thing in your life above all else? What is the second most important thing in your life? The third thing that is most important in your life? When you’re clear on what needs to be prioritized first, then it’s less stressful to make choices and decisions based on your priorities as you honor your values, heart and spirit.

      7. Get Your Zzzzz

      Getting enough sleep is super important! It’s the time when your body can process through the stress of the day and rejuvenates your cells. Studies have shown that a lack of sleep can create a multitude of negative affects such as loss of attention span and productivity, forgetfulness, depression, weight gain, premature aging of your skin, and health risks such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, just to name a few.

      If stress has you worrying and keeping you up at night, try various mindfulness meditations before you go to bed to slow down your system and calm your mind for a restful night’s sleep. Your body will thank you and so will everyone else around you.

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      8. Know Your Boundaries

      What are you willing and not willing to do for your work? Where do you draw the line between work time and family time? When does your work-day begin and end? When is your sacred time with family and loved ones? If need be, put it on your calendar and color code it.

      The more you practice honoring these boundaries, the more you’re honoring your core values. You’re also establishing separate neural pathways in your brain for those different areas of your life. As you do this, it becomes easier to “code switch” or change gears in your mindset to leave work at work and be fully present with friends and family.

      9. Be Mindful Of Your Energy Drains

      Are there some ‘Negative Nellies’ or ‘Hateful Harolds’ in your life? You know those folks who are always trying to pull you down into their latest drama, “woe is me” story or other negative mindsets that drains your time, energy and focus?

      Notice the people and situations that are sucking you dry of your positive life force. Limit your interactions with those kinds of people or eliminate them all together if you can. The less you collude with their story, or buy into it, the less they have something to attach to and will eventually take their story elsewhere.

      10. Schedule Regular Play Dates

      Schedule Play Dates

        Just as much as your kids need play dates with their friends, so do you with your significant other and girl friends. Taking time out to let your hair down and be your “adult” self instead of Mom, or boss, or colleague creates downtime for your hard working brain to just have fun, be silly and do what floats your boat with friends and loved ones.

        11. Dance With Your Inner Muse

        We all have some kind of creativity that comes through us. It can look a thousand different ways such as painting, writing, gardening, cooking, knitting, and dancing just to name a few. When you take time to express your inner muse, it allows your right brain to light up and activates various pleasure centers in your brain. This releases a cascade of happy chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin which leaves you feeling good and creates a positive ripple effect into other areas of your life.

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        12. Ask For Help

        As a recovering “I can do it all by myself” kinda woman, it’s taken me a long time to learn how to ask for help from others. Truth is, when you’re plate is full, there is no way that you can do it all by yourself! When you’re willing to ask for help from those around you for various things you give them the opportunity to be of contribution to you in some way.

        All of us want to be of service in good ways – it’s hard wired into our DNA. When you allow someone to share their expertise or assistance with you, it’s the same as receiving a gift from them. They feel good about giving it and you get to practice graciously receiving their gift of kindness.

        13. Let Go Of The Small Stuff

        dandelion close up

          In each day there are bound to be issues and challenges that come up which can easily drag you down the rabbit hole of stress, worry, fear or frustration. When you’re clear on what your core values and purpose are, then it’s easier to choose your battles based on what’s truly important, what’s going to move you forward in a good way and serve the greater good.

          When you are able to let go of the small stuff you build up your energy reserves for more important things that need your time and attention.

          As you try on these different keys to having more balance, let me know what works best for you and the positive shifts you’re noticing in your work and home life. I’d love to hear!

          Featured photo credit: Morgan Sessions via download.unsplash.com

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          Last Updated on August 19, 2019

          20 Critical Skills to Include on Your Resume (For All Types of Jobs)

          20 Critical Skills to Include on Your Resume (For All Types of Jobs)

          A resume describes your critical skills in a way that compels a hiring manager to want to meet you. That is a resume’s sole purpose.

          And make no mistake: Writing a resume is an art.

          Today each corporate job opening attracts 250 resumes on average, and somehow yours will need to rise above the competition. It’s actually harder to snag an interview from an online posting than to get into Harvard. But don’t let that intimidate you. Instead, open your laptop, roll up your proverbial sleeves, and let’s get to work!


          Employers generally prefer candidates with skills that show leadership ability, problem-solving ability, and perseverance through challenges. So in the resume, you should demonstrate that you’re a dynamic candidate.

          Refine the skills on your resume so that you incorporate these resume “musts:”

          1. Leadership Ability

          Even an entry-level employee can show leadership. Point out how your skills helped your department ascend to a new level. Capture leadership attributes with compelling statements.

          Example:

          “Led change that drove efficiency and an ability to cut 800 error-free payroll checks.”

          2. Problem-Solving Ability

          Most employees are hired to solve problems. Showcase that ability on your resume.

          Example:

          “Led staff in campaign to outrival top competitor’s market share during a down cycle.”

          3. Perseverance

          Have you been promoted several times? Or have you maintained margins in a down cycle? Both achievements demonstrate persistence. You look like someone who can navigate roadblocks.

          4. Technical Skills

          Consider including a Key Skills or Technology Skills section in which you list computer and software skills.

          Example:

          “Expert-level knowledge in Java.”

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          5. Quantified Results

          Nothing is quite as attractive as objective results. Did you increase sales by 25 percent? Win three new clients? Surpass the internal goal by 15 percent?

          Use hard-hitting numbers to express your point. State the result first, and then provide a sentence or phrase describing the critical skills you applied to achieve the milestone.

          Example:

          “Boosted sales by 200 percent by developing new online platform that made it easier for customers to compare and contrast sizes, textures, and fit.”

          6. People Skills

          Employers prefer congenial staff members to prima donnas or mavericks. Relate your strongest soft skills.

          Example:

          “Organized, hard-working staffer who listens well and communicates effectively.”

          7. Passion in the Field

          Recruiters and hiring managers can intuit whether candidates care about their career performance by the dynamism behind the descriptions of their skills on their resumes. Are your efforts “transformational” or merely “useful?” Were your results “game-changing” or boringly “appropriate?”

          The tenor of your words reveals whether you’re passionate or passive. (But don’t overdo it. See the “Hyperbole” section below.)

          8. Being the Entrepreneur within the Corporation

          Whether you took the initiative to create a new synergy or worked independently to land an opportunity, share how you furthered organizational goals through your self-directed efforts.

          9. Your Adaptability

          Have you switched career paths? Weathered a corporate takeover?

          Make it clear that your resilience helped get you and your organization through the turbulence.

          10. Confirming Your Expertise

          Every job posting states experience requirements. Ideally, you want to meet these requirements or best them. But don’t exaggerate.


          While proving that you possess the credentials described in the job posting, you can still stand out if you are able to offer additional special skills to showcase your personality.

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          Consider adding any of these special accomplishments, if true:

          11. Referencing Award-Winning Talents

          If you played center on your college basketball team that made it into the Top 10 finals, then working collaboratively and cooperatively are among your natural callings. Be sure to say so.

          12. Unveiling Your Work Persona

          If you were repeatedly singled out for your stellar performance in work settings, becoming employee-of-the-month, top revenue generator, and so on — it’s worth mentioning.

          13. Capitalizing on Commonalities

          From Googling the hiring manager, you discover that she was formerly a Peace Corps volunteer in Belize. Listing your Spanish immersion course in Central America may draw her attention to the other outstanding skills on your resume.

          14. Highlighting Creative Tactics

          If, for example, in your HR role, you piloted an employee incentive program that became an industry model, include it. Such innovative thinking will command an employer’s attention.

          15. Specifying All Accolades

          Listing any honors received instills confidence that you will bring that level of perfectionism forward in a corporate environment.

          16. Transferable Skills

          You spend your spare time conducting your community orchestra. Highlight this after-hours pursuit to show that you have the critical skills needed to keep a team on task.


          Take note: Hyperbole can hurt you. So, show your credibility.

          Although it may be tempting to use embellishments to boost your experience, improve your job title, or enhance your education, resist. These days, a five-minute search will reveal the truth. And taking self-inflation too far could easily come back to destroy your career.

          Hiring managers have their antenna up for resume hyperbole. A survey shows that 53 percent are suspicious that candidates are often dishonest.

          Follow these guiding principles when writing your own resume:

          17. Accurately Describing Your Degree

          Make sure to differentiate between certificates attained and degrees earned, along with the name of the institution awarding them.

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          18. Stating Job Duration with Honest Dates

          Honesty is the only policy when reporting the length of a particular job. If you’ve been out of work for an extended period of time, state the reason you have gaps.

          Whether you traveled, had to cope with a family emergency, or went back to school to change your professional track, communicate the positive outcome that came from the hiatus.

          19. Claiming Only the Skills You Truly Possess

          Unless you’re proficient in a software program or are fluent in a second language, leave any mention of them off.

          Conversely, if you feel like you must include them, then accurately qualify your level of competence.

          20. Being Honest About Your Role in a Project

          You may think you were the lead person because you did most of the work, but chances are your supervisor thinks otherwise.

          Besides the 20 critical skills to include on your resume, here’re some important notes for you.

          Bonus Tips for Writing a Resume

          You Only Have 6 to 7 Seconds to Impress the Employer

          Hiring managers and artificial intelligence “bots” may spend only 6 to 7 seconds perusing your resume, which means you need it to teem with essential skills, quantifiable achievements, and action words.

          If, in fact, you believe that a “bot” will be analyzing your resume before it even lands on a hiring manager’s desk, be sure to include some of the actual key words from the posting in your document. There’s no reason why you can’t customize your resume to each job posting.

          Another tip: Be sure to show your resume to a few individuals who work in your field, so that you can fine-tune the information as needed.

          Starting at the Top

          The Objective at the top of your resume is optional if you’re seeking the same job you already have, just at different company. However, if you’re switching fields, it’s critical to include an Objective, which is a one-sentence summary of the job you want.

          For example:

          Objective: To become web editor at a thriving news website.

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          If you’ve been in your field for ten years or more, you will probably want to include an Executive Summary. This is a one-sentence takeaway about who you are, including the critical skills you amassed throughout your career.

          For example:

          Executive Summary: Award-winning creative director with over ten years experience managing teams on three continents.

          Depending on your field, you may also want to add some skills as bullet points in the Executive Summary section.

          And what about your Education? If you graduated from college within the past ten years, include your Education just below the Objective section (and forgo the Executive Summary). If it’s been over ten years since you graduated, then include your Education at the very end of your resume. Only cite your grade point average (G.P.A.) if it was exceptional—3.7 G.P.A. or higher, or if you won scholastic awards.

          Ideally, the critical skills you amassed during college, at your previous job, and throughout your career will add up to a riveting portrait of a professional who’s ideally suited for your dream position: You.

          Tailor, Tweak, and Fine-Tune

          If you’re targeting different kinds of organizations, you’ll need customized resumes for each outreach.

          Don’t be afraid to parrot some of the words on the list of requirements back to the company. Many times, organizations will actually use the key words mentioned in the job posting when screening resumes.

          Approach Your Resume as a Skills-Based Story

          Like any good storyteller, lay out the framework at the beginning. Include the skills you’ve mastered and state how you can add value—wording your sentences in a way that reflects the specific job you’re seeking.

          Are you vying for a sales position? Quantify your results: “Responsible for 50 percent of all sales that resulted in $750,000 in annual revenue.” Use your critical skills, peppered throughout your resume, to tell the exciting story of your distinguished professional career!

          Researching the organization that you’re targeting will help you make your examples specific. Does the company cater to a particular audience or clientele? Be sure to note any experiences you’ve had with similar audiences.

          Putting It All Together

          A resume is not a laundry list. It tells a cohesive story. Your story should highlight your qualifications and critical skills in a way that makes a logical, well-constructed case for your compatibility with the organization and its advertised position.

          Packaging your story into the concisely prescribed format of a resume means that it will read as a synopsis — one that will hopefully land you the job.

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          Featured photo credit: Bram Naus via unsplash.com

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