It’s all about the stepping stones !

It has been several months since I let my fingers do the walking on my keyboard but I have finally pushed aside the excuses. Funny thing is even though I have been avoiding writing a new blog I have missed sitting down and sharing my thoughts, advice and reflections  with my virtual friends.

At denovo HQ we have had the opportunity to work with some great clients this year. They find their way to us as when they are in need of support, advice, or just some inspiration to find their career mojo or that next career adventure.  The most rewarding thing for me as a career strategist is getting feedback from clients that they have pushed through the fear barrier and are both motivated and determined to reclaim their career mojo.  I have to be honest, sometimes reading these emails or receiving the feedback in person I feel guilty as all I did was help them identify what action needed to be taken and then encourage them take the first one or two steps.

In most cases my clients have been hesitant in taking the first few steps as they have allowed themselves to imagine the worse case scenario of those steps going badly wrong. Reality is even if they go slightly wrong or not as planned it is not a major catastrophe. At the end of the day you are the  main reason your being held back from finding your career mojo or that next career adventure. So  my challenge to you is what is something you can do to increase you career mojo  and just get out there and take that step.

If you are sitting there and at a lose about what that step needs to be flick me a message and I would be happy to brainstorm some ideas with you.


Habitat | The Bacon Factory

This is my talented cousin. He is a great example of following your passion.

Press Print Co

Clint Harvey smiles wryly when asked how long it takes to clean the ink stains from his hands. It’s a mark of the trade he’s not sure he’ll ever be able to remove, but for the founder of Brisbane Museum of Print ’s The Bacon Factory, the look is fitting. Harvey, a graphic designer of 25 years and Head of School at Design College Australia, moves fluently around the hidden inner-city space he and a handful of others have devotedly curated for the past four years. This is a vast collection of vintage print machinery, weathered tools and cabinets full of intricate treasures housed within the shell of an old small goods factory.

With the advent of perfectly formed computer type, the art and trade of letter press may well have vanished entirely, were it not for curious people like Harvey, drawn in by the soft thud of an inked-up…

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Sharing one of my goals for 2014

It’s my last full day as a beginner camper. It’s been an interesting experience living so close to people you don’t really know. We are staying with my Uncle who is a seasoned camper and has been coming to this camp ground for many years. For the regulars it’s a real community and when someone heads to the shops they quickly whip around to see if they anyone needs anything picked up. People pop in for a quick visit throughout the day. If someone camping in your area leaves the camp ground they let the campers around them know , nothing seems to be locked up and off they go. Everyone looking out for each other and their property. It’s certainly an environment of mutual respect for your neighbours. It got me wondering if they all do this at home or if this is just camping etiquette.

It had made me appreciate more than ever how valuable friendliness and kindness is towards one another. I think in our busy lives we often forget these two qualities as members of our community. I’ve decided that this year one of my personal goals is to be more community minded in my neighbourhood.

There will definitely be an increase in the random acts of kindness and taking the time to check in on my neighbours.


Snapping yourself out of the grump’s

I caught myself being grumpy and resentful this morning. I felt that dark cloud of ungratefulness hover over head and start sucking the energy out of me. I’ve learnt over recent years that I have a choice how to respond to these situations. I can allow the cloud to hover over me for hours or I can push them away and return to my grateful zone. There area a number of techniques you can use however the one that works best for me is to take some “me” time and focus on the things I’m grateful for.

My “me” time this mornings was to head over and get our takeaway coffees. I placed the order and was gifted a 10 minute wait. We are staying in a large busy camping ground which provides you the ideal place to people watch. Looking around me I quickly came to the realisation how lucky I am with the life I have chosen to lead. More importantly I realised the reason I was grumpy was pretty trivial in the scheme of things. In fact it’s so trivial I am not even going to share it. On my return to our campsite the dark ungratefulness cloud became less dark and I was feeling more energised to enjoy day two of 2014.

Next time you find yourself grumpy and that dark cloud hovering over head take some quiet time and focus on what you’re grateful for.


One of my 2013 personal highlights

One of my highlights this year was participating in a spinathon at Habit Evans Bay to help Chris Watson raise funds towards his 8 day 800km charity bike ride in Thailand in January 2014. The annual event raises money to support Hands Across the Water (HATW ) centres and also a number of projects. Check out there website

There are two reasons this was one of my highlights, first HATW is an amazing charity and I have been able to see first hand the great work they do particularly for the children of Baan Than Namchai. Secondly I committed to completing six hours spinning which included two one hour spin classes and the remainder spinning at my own pace. Thanks to a number of generous sponsors this was more than I had planned to complete when I decided to participate.

I started getting lots of advice from people on how to survive the six hours and some people even told me I was pretty much setting myself up to fail. The thing that surprised me the most was my reaction. I started to get more and more focused and determined I could do this. I spent time visualising completing the challenge and the feel good factor I would experience at the end of the spinathon. The day of the spinathon I think it’s fair to say I was the most focused on achieving a fitness challenge than I had for years. I got Into the zone, downloaded some spin music and off I went. Rather than doing my four hours at a relaxed pace I kept up a steady pace using the music to keep me motivated. I ended up spinning for six hours 30 minutes, raised $1630 and felt really good the day after.

The lesson here for me was if I put my mind to a challenge I can achieve it. I am going to set another challenge this year so watch this space.


Using quotes to keep you motivated

I came across this great quote which was posted by Tiny Buddha today on Facebook – “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows” – Ralph Marston .

It really resonated with me, so much so I plan to use it as one of my motivating quotes for 2014. I find having motivating quotes posted around my desk, in my journal and as screen saver can be key to keeping me on track. One quote that has played a key role in my life journey is ” if it’s to be it’s up to me”. I am also a big fan of many of the Dr Seuss quotes.

What’s your 2014 motivating quote or quotes going to be?


Gearing up for 2014

I’m currently on my summer vacation and have set myself a challenge to post a mini blog each day till I get back to work on the 6th January.

For a number of years I have used the summer holiday break to write my goals for the upcoming year. I have found the best way to prepare myself is to spend time reflecting on the past 12 months . There are a number of ways you can undertake refection exercises my favourite is asking myself three questions.

1. What are the three career achievements I am most proud of in 2013?
2. What were the three career lowlights I don’t want to repeat in 2014?
3. What career goals did I set in 2013 that I didn’t achieve and why did’t this happen?

The most challenging question for me is frequently number 3. I feel a sense of personal disappointment and the old failure cloud can creep over me. It would be easy to just drop this question but I find it helps me to really focus. It also helps me think hard about what’s important to me, why I set the goal in the first place and finally what am I willing to do differently in upcoming year.

My challenge for you over the next week is to take some “ME” time to undertake career reflection and then set yourself some goals to make 2014 a career charged year and be the best you can be.