In partnership with Ninety One and the Return Hub, we invited our networks to connect and listen to stories about regaining confidence, coping with menopause, ageism and staying relevant. It was an opportunity to learn from women across the industry and to share our own experiences. The aim was to leave guests feeling inspired and well equipped for the future. It was a really fantastic and insightful discussion, below you will be able to read our crowd sourced tips from the event;
Crowd Sourced Tips…
Loss of confidence
- Find your glimmers (opposite of triggers) – this could be music, a picture that makes you smile, walking by the river – find the things that give you that burst of positivity.
- Find your support network, being able to bond with colleagues, sharing a laugh eases anxieties and nerves.
- They can also be your sounding board for ideas and remind you of your strengths when you need it
- Trust your instincts – often people will be thinking the same thing.
- Don’t compare yourself! Whether to a past self or others around you, we all have our own paths and timelines. Do things at your own pace.
- “All that glitters is not gold” – even though someone’s life may look perfect, you never know what is really going on behind the mask. Be kind to yourself and others.
- Breathing & Exercise – 3 deep breaths, 6 second exhale.
- Use a power pose when you are feeling nervous; take up space – arms out! Standing in a confident posture is a self-fulfilling action, you may not feel confident but shoulders back, deep breaths and the confidence will come.
- Visualise when you last smashed it. Remember how it felt and embrace those positive feelings. It can cut off your downward spiral and takes off the pressure. You know you can do this!
- Put up notes to remind you of your power and successes – “eye on the prize”.
- Capture the positive feedback you get and put it in a folder to remind yourself of how your confidence feels.
- Remember to pat yourself on the back for the things that go well. We are good at focusing and spiralling on the negatives so let’s shift this focus to the better aspects. This can then become a self-fulfilling prophecy – the more we focus on the positives, the more we see it in our everyday lives.
- Own what you are good at and don’t apologise for it!
- Out of all the inherent female experiences, menopause is historically the least talked about and hardest to address.
- There can be an awkwardness about talking about Menopause as it suddenly draws attention to being a woman, and aging. Two things that we don’t tend to focus on in professional environments.
- It is the first personal experience that is strictly about an individual’s experience. With maternity leave the focus ends up being the baby, with menopause the focus stays with you.
- There is a change in who you are both physically and mentally, this is not always for the worst…
- The positives of menopause:
- No periods
- Turning point in confidence
- Building self-trust and learning to be comfortable
- We have to include younger women and men in the conversation too. It is important that we all know the symptoms and effects of menopause so that we know how best to recognise and offer support.
- Importance of menopause and mental health training
- This is something that effects everyone – we all have mothers, sisters, daughters
- It’s important to show womanhood in all its ups and downs so younger generations are prepared
- Men have partners or will manage women who go through the menopause.
- The more we talk about it, the more normal the conversation will become which will eventually help everyone.
- There are definitely cultural and personal differences when addressing this issue so it is important that discretion and openness are balanced to create a safe space.
- Has the pandemic opened up this conversation?
- Culture of caring for each other, looking out for one another
- Ability to work flexibly to work around symptoms
- Idea of setting up similar processes to Maternity Leave for going through menopause.
- Instead of making it personal, training people on the symptoms and effects will allow a more general discussion.
- The last –ism that doesn’t seem to be properly addressed. A variety of ages increases diversity of thought.
- Probably something we all have internal bias about without even realising.
- Redefining what success means – it does not have to be age related;
- Senior expertise does not mean you have to manage
- Need to change the framework for promotion and what we look for in hires
- Media portrayal is not positive about older workers and perpetuates stereotypes, Workers in their 40’s, 50’s and beyond are still able to pick up new tech skills.
- Ageism works both ways and younger colleagues can be dismissed for their lack of experience. We need to remove age from the equation and trust that everyone has been hired for a reason, let them show their own skills.
- There is no age limit for returning to work.
- Pursue your passions and keep learning – skills are transferable.
- 70% of those in the returners’ network are looking for full time work.
- The future of work is changing and incoming generations will not have a ‘traditional’ career path in a straight line.
- At some point we are all likely to be returners.
- They bring new perspective and skills, even though their CVs may not be standard.
Loss of Confidence:
- Glimmers https://amp.usatoday.com/amp/7121353001
- Inner critic: Brene Brown https://brenebrown.com/books-audio/
- TED talk (spot my inner critic) https://youtu.be/lnf-Ka3ZmOM
Menopause, Ageism and Staying relevant:
- Squiggly careers Podcast: Squiggly Careers on Apple Podcasts
- Lucy kellaway FinancialTimes: https://www.ft.com/content/04e5a914-a250-43b3-9e3b-8ab46397b764
- Ft working it: https://www.ft.com/content/68c27338-fb9e-4f8a-b723-ef3c485b4e1d
- HBR women at work Harnessing the Power of Age Diversity
- Fawcett society Reports and publications | The Fawcett Society
- The economic disadvantages of ageism: McKinsey: https://open.spotify.com/episode/0Iy3oGDSxEqEiuBAn2DEet?si=o7foi4GKS2-gTEJnrGBJ9w
- The Return Hub – www.thereturnhub.com
- The Career Academy powered by The Return Hub: https://www.thereturnhub.com/for-candidates/career-academy/ The Career Academy is a complete on-line career portal with free practical tools and masterclasses to help you return, or pivot, your career with confidence.
- The Leverton Pre-Interview boost is more often played in our office but is also sent out to candidates who are nervous before interviews. Have a listen and dance away any nerves.