You told us that work, career and leadership stuff plays on your mind, so we thought we’d try and help. Vanessa Morley has kicked some high career goals herself, and as Director (of) People and Culture at Nine, she helps people navigate their own path every day. Here, she tackles some of your questions.
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Looking to lead.
I was just wondering what are the best ways to get selected for a leadership position in Year 12?
I’ve been making sure that I do at least one music group and one sport group, but is there more that I could do? I feel like I am not someone who is noticed as much as others, so how do I stand out in the crowd when the school is choosing captains?
~ Anon, 15
It’s so great that you are already thinking about a leadership position!
Giving yourself options by doing music and sport is a really good start, but I know standing out from the crowd can be difficult when you’ve got lots of people around you who also want to stand out!
So, what are the things that you have that no one else has? What are the parts of you that are uniquely you, the things that are your strengths? Write those things down! In my life I’ve found that backing myself first, and knowing what are my strengths has been what has given me the confidence to stand up and get noticed.
Believe in your unique strengths and follow your interests, and use those to stand out. This belief will help you voice your opinion, and get involved in things that are outside your comfort zone. This will set you up well for leadership!
So I’m really struggling with finding the motivation to study for exams and put in enough effort in my projects. I’ve tried thinking of the end goal but it doesn’t work. I’ve tried rewarding myself along the way. But nothing seems to work. Please help. It’s really impacting my grades and mental well-being.
~ Chloé, 14
Finding motivation can be pretty tough Chloé, and it sounds like you’ve had a good go at trying to find some ways to get yourself going!
And what motivates others may not be the same thing that motivates you. You could try thinking about how you get yourself motivated for other things – like sport, or a hobby: what is it that you do when you are doing those things that you could use to motivate you to study? For example, I try to get to the gym a few times a week, and find that if I set myself a little goal of doing just a bit more than I did yesterday it gets me there and gets me focused… what could you do that would be just a bit more than yesterday?
Maybe you could try to chunk your goals down into smaller, more bite-size goals, like: ‘today I will study for 30 minutes’, or an achievable ‘today I will complete just this part of my project’.
You could also try and find a friend to study with. Keep each other on track and support each other. Sometimes when you tell someone else what you want to achieve it can make it easier!
If all else fails, set a timer. Have a short break after every 15 minutes, or a small square of chocolate at the end of a study session. An incentive like this might do the trick!
Should I follow my passion?
I have graduated with a diploma of Business and Commerce, majoring in Accounting late last year. I received an awesome Graduate Job which is a dream job coming out of uni. Although I do enjoy it, I’m second-guessing whether the corporate world is for me. I’ve always had a passion for health and fitness but the financial hardship of living in Sydney makes me question whether that is the right career to take.
I’ve always been taught that you get more money taking care of money than taking care of people.
Please help, I’m oh so confused 🙂
~ Nat, 23
That’s such a great, big question.
On the one hand, you have something that you know you will love, but might not give you the financial security you are after. On the other, you’ve got the financial security but not the passion for what you are doing.
Financial security or following your passion? It’s tough to balance.
Maybe there’s a way you could dip your toe into health and fitness while you are still working in your grad role. Could you do some casual work in health and fitness on the weekends or at night to see if you really like it? Or maybe study health and fitness part time? That could give you the option of changing careers without totally giving up your current role. Making money by taking care of money is a worthy profession – but if it isn’t bringing you happiness it probably feels a bit empty.
Feeling rewarded can be so much more than just the money – it can be the difference you make in someone’s life, the smile they share with you, the impact you have on another person. Money can’t beat that!
How can I know and be sure that I’m not making mistakes regarding the future? I don’t want to regret my choices.
~ Anon, 17
Oh Anon, what a great question!
But I’m afraid I don’t have an easy answer for you. The truth is, I don’t think you can ever really know whether the decision you are making right now is the right decision for the future. You can only make the decision and hope for the best. I am a big believer in going with your gut – if it feels like the right choice for right now, it probably is. You can’t control everything that will happen in your future – and if it turns out that the decision you made was not the right one, you can change your path.
I try not to regret my choices – we all do the best with what we have at the time – but changing your path or your decisions because things didn’t turn out exactly the way you wanted is not a failure.
It’s learning. And it’s life!