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Becca

The STAR Method: Get ahead in your career

The STAR Method- How to Use It To Get Ahead In Your Career ~ Pop Your Career

Have you heard of the STAR Method? It is a popular tool for writing job applications and presenting interview responses, but when mastered, it can actually be used in other career-enhancing situations as well. So, let’s break it down. In this post, I am going to explain what the STAR method is, how you can become better at using it and I am also sharing four different situations where the STAR method can help you get ahead in your career.

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The Career Fulfilment Framework

Are you completely satisfied with your career? Most people aren't, but it isn't a hopeless cause. The Career Fulfilment Framework is a system that you can use to identify the areas of your career that need work. The framework will then then guide you through the improvement process so that you can achieve your ultimate career nirvana. ~ Pop Your Career

If you subscribe to my weekly newsletter, The Hump Day Digest, then you will know that I have been working on a new project that will allow me to serve you better, on your journey to feeling fulfilled in your career.

The Career Fulfilment Framework is based on years of reflection, study and talking to my clients about their career goals. This has allowed me to delve deep into the elements that contribute to fulfilment and consider how each of these elements (or pillars as I call them) can be tweaked, massaged and adapted to achieve employment nirvana. In this post, I am sharing an overview of The Career Fulfilment Framework and in coming weeks I will be going deep with each of the stages and pillars to talk about how you can ensure that you are completely aligned with your career goals.

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When to include an objective section in your resume (and when to ditch it!)

Not sure whether to include an objective section in your resume? In this post, I have included loads of tips as well as practical examples of when an objective section will serve you in your job search! ~ Pop Your Career

A question that I am often asked is whether or not you should include an objective section in your resume. Personally, I am not a fan of including an objective – you might have heard me say before that it seems a little redundant, as most of the time, your objective is to get the role that you are applying for. There are some cases, however, when an objective section in your resume can help to communicate your story to a potential employer and these cases all revolve around change.

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I Had My Career Astrology Chart Read… Here’s What Went Down

Straddling the fence between spirituality and practicality? Looking for some insight into the future of your career? I hear you! I had my career astrology chart read... here's what went down... ~ Pop Your Career

Last week I had my astrological birth chart done to explore what is in store for my career in 2017 and beyond. I know this sort of thing isn’t for everyone and it varies from the usual information I provide at Pop Your Career, but I have been getting to know a few of you through my email list and I know that there are quite a few readers out there who appreciate looking at things in a different light.

If this sort of thing isn’t for you, that’s cool. My next post will be back to providing you with super practical advice about improving your resume, but if you are intrigued by the idea of using astrology to guide your career or business, then read on. I’ll tell you all about it!

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22 Practical Tips To Make Travelling For Work More Bearable

Do you love travelling for work or do you die inside a little every time your boss announces another trip? I am firmly in the middle. To make travelling for work more bearable (for both of us!) I created this post! ~ Pop Your Career

Do you love travelling for work, or do you dread every trip and then wish that it was over? I land firmly in the middle. I don't mind travelling, mostly because my work colleagues are awesome, but on the other hand, I am a bit of a homebody and would always prefer to be at home with my family. To make my work travel more bearable (and maybe even enjoyable!), I am always looking for tips, tricks and hacks. In this post, I am sharing some of those tips with you.

1. Always take a bag with wheels.

Why do I always forget this one? Every time I am travelling for work I think, “Nah, she’ll be right – I am only going for a couple of nights so I won’t need much!” and then I end up cursing Past Bec as I hobble through the airport with my overpacked duffel. As cute as my duffel is (white with black stripes, gifted to me by my sister), no matter how long I am travelling for, or how much I have to pack, I always regret taking it.

If you are travelling a lot, I would consider investing in a small carry-on piece with wheels and laptop storage!

2. Set some boundaries

Do your work colleagues want to go out partying after a full day at the office? If you want to party on, there is no judgement here. But if you prefer to eat room service spaghetti bolognaise on your crisp white sheets while watching crappy reality TV… you need to set some boundaries and stick to them.

Whatever you decide, just remember that you can’t operate on no sleep. Make sure you factor plenty of snooze time into your plan, so that you don’t spend your days in the office hating life!

3. Don't forget the self-care

I am no fitty-titty, but when I am away for work, I love a good pilates sesh on the floor of my hotel room before heading into the office. I have also been known to pack my own trail-mix snacks and will never be seen without at least one bottle of water. Just because I am away from home, it doesn’t mean I have to stop looking after myself.

The same goes for you, so make sure you are incorporating some self-care into your travel plan. If you are a gym bunny, book into a hotel that has a gym onsite if possible. Don’t forget to pack your gym clothes and your runners. If you have special eating requirements or you are on an eating plan, suss out the food spots before you go and work out where you can buy some simple, healthy essentials from if you get stuck! This tip was provided to me well before this blog post was even a fragment of an idea. I was preparing for a big work trip and my health coach, Nicola from Reclaiming Strength helped me make sure my self care was on track!

4. Spend the extra money to access the lounge

This tip was provided by Matt (my boss), who explained to me that for a reasonable annual fee (usually a few hundred dollars) you can get unlimited access to the airport lounge. "What's the big deal?", I asked, obviously having limited experience as a lounge goer. Matt went on to explain that if every time you fly, you are grabbing coffee, snacks and meals and the airport. This adds up and if you are flying frequently, the cost of lounge access can work out to be much more economical than ad hoc purchases. You can get your coffee and food inside the lounge whilst also enjoying the more obvious benefit of being so much more comfortable that you would be out in the general waiting area! This is a great tip and one that I plan to investigate myself!

Some further good news - chat to your accountant as you might even be able to claim your lounge access pass back as a deduction at tax time!

5. Carry a wide-mouthed water bottle

I was actually given this tip by my friend Brooke from The Pursuit of Wellness as I was preparing for my recent cruise. Brooke is an expert cruiser and gave me loads of tips, but this is also super helpful for business travel. If you are anything like me, you are very conscious of staying hydrated. In fact, water for me is a little bit of a security blanket and if I don't have a bottle of water nearby I tend to feel a little edgy about when I am going to get my next fix. As you can imagine, when drinking bottled water, this can add up, very quickly!

A recent trip to Queensland saw me spend approximately $40 on bottled water over a period of a couple of days. Most places though, especially in office environments, have access to clean drinking water, or filtered water that you can drink to your heart's content. If you take a wide-mouthed bottle of water, you can take advantage of the free H2O, which is not only a huge cost-saving, but also a massive convenience!

6. Review your transfer options

This tip is from my good friend, Candice, who knows exactly how I like to travel; well prepared and with as little hassle as possible. Candice and I both prefer to drive ourselves to the airport as it means that we aren't reliant on anyone else to get us to the airport in time - we both prefer to be in control of our own destinies!

Where we live, in Canberra, Australia, it is actually far cheaper for us to drive, then pay for airport parking for several days, than it is to get taxi transfers, but it is best for you to review your options and see what works best for you. If you have a good public transport system or are a fan of Uber, these could also be strong options.

Do you like travelling for work? Make it way more bearable with this EPIC post!

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7. Build relationships with local drivers

Matt popped back in to share a little more of his travel wisdom (perhaps he didn't want to be outdone by Candice?) He suggested that if you are travelling to the same locations regularly, it can help to build relationships with local drivers. Matt told me that when he and his work colleague used to travel regularly to Melbourne, they had a specific driver who would pick them up at their request, in a previously agreed spot away from all the lines. This is a little bit of "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" type of action. For a regular fare for well-behaved travellers, a driver might be willing to make him or herself available for private bookings. If anything, it sounds like it is worth asking!

8. Carry small amounts of cash

I am not a fan of cash. I use my debit card for everything. But when I am travelling, I always make sure that I have a little bit of cash in my wallet just in case. "Just in case of what?", you might be asking. Well, have you ever been caught up in meetings and not had a chance to duck out and grab yourself some lunch? If you have a little cash on you, you might be able to ask a colleague or friend to race down to the local cafe and grab something for you.

Or perhaps you only have limited time available and you can't find a vendor that takes EFTPOS. Maybe you are desperate for a drink and you forgot to bring your drink bottle, so you need to grab a bottle of water from a vending machine. Maybe you need a stick of gum but the EFTPOS minimum is $10. The credit card machines goes on the fritz in your taxi and you need to pay a fare. Picking up what I am putting down? Of course you can't be prepared for every single possibility, but having a bit of cash on you could save you from some awkward or time-poor situations.

9. Make the most of your travel location

La Tonya Roberts from LTR Travels hit me up on Instagram and let me know that she loves travelling for work so much she has actually made a career out of it! That’s commitment! Latonya told me that her best tip is to make time to explore the location by doing some local activities and eating local food.

I totally agree with La Tonya on this one and I am making more of a conscious effort to enjoy the places I travel to. Do you know, I have been to Melbourne three times for work and have not done any sightseeing? Seems like such a waste!

10. Embrace Airplane Mode

The lovely Johanna from Adventures of Jo sent me an email telling me that her best travel tip is to make sure you remember to pop your phone onto airplane mode so that you can use it in the sky. This is a great tip – my phone is an extension of me and I am lost without it (I just had a mini digital detox and it was hard!).

To take Jo’s tip a step further, I recommend you download your favourite tunes or podcasts to your phone or tablet before you fly so that you have plenty to listen to while you are up in the air. This goes for e-books and magazines too – anything to avoid the crappy (and sometimes non-existent) in-flight entertainment, right?

11. Check in early

This might seem like a fairly simple or obvious tip, but I wanted to mention it just to be sure. Whenever I am travelling I make sure to check in as early as possible, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I am not a good flyer, so I am a little selective about where on the plane I sit. I like a window seat so that after the in-flight snack, I can rest my head on the side of the plane and fall off to sleep.

Secondly, it saves time at the airport and means that I can sleep in a little longer before an earlier flight (one of the same reasons I also avoid checking in luggage wherever possible!).

Finally, it allows me to keep my boarding pass on my phone, which is always close to my fingertips, but it also means that it is one less piece of paper that I have to carry (and possibly lose!)

12. Join the frequent traveller clubs

If your employer allows you to claim frequent flyer points for your work trips (unfortunately mine doesn't!) then you should definitely take advantage of it! Even if you don't travel often, the points can add up and can save you money on future flights or hotels that you book for holidays and let's face it, every dollar counts! Frequent flyer programs can also offer you other benefits, like priority check in or even access to the lounge, if you haven't already been convinced that membership is worthwhile.

I saved a considerable amount on my upcoming travel to the Gold Coast, firstly because I traded in some points to pay for part of my airfare and secondly, because they sent me a birthday voucher – cash off my hotel bill!

Do you love travelling for work or do you die inside a little every time your boss announces another trip? I am firmly in the middle. To make travelling for work more bearable (for both of us!) I created this post! ~ Pop Your Career

13. Carry as little hand luggage as possible (especially if you have multiple stopovers)

Now, I have to confess, this is something that my husband and I disagree on. He prefers to check his luggage so that he can move about freely without having to carry a lot of bags. He reckons it also makes it easier when going through security. I hate checking luggage though - I am incredibly impatient and hate having to wait at the other end for my luggage to be released.

I can see his point though, and I am willing to compromise, not admit that he is right! Consider your trip and what you need to carry. Do you have a laptop that you will need to take out of your bag at security? Do you have multiple stopovers or are you travelling for a significant period of time? These things will all help to inform your decision, but either way, don't say we didn't warn you! Haha!

14. Talk to the locals about where to eat and what needs to be seen

This tip was another from my husband and a follow-on from Latoya’s great tip about local food. Hubs travelled to Boston last year for three weeks and found it so helpful to chat to the local staff about where the best restaurants were and about any must-see tourist attractions. What he found was that his American colleagues were super keen to show a newbie around and took him out several times while he was away. This led to some of his best food experiences, which included sushi, food trucks and a lobster restaurant! It also meant that he could build stronger relationships with his American team-mates than he would if he went straight to his hotel room every night and ordered room service.

15. Order your meals ahead if you are in a rush

I mentioned earlier that sometimes taking lunch when you are on a trip away for work can be a luxury, and this tip can make it a lot easier for you to get some grub. Scout out local cafes and restaurants when you get a chance, then order ahead so that your meal is all-but-ready and waiting for you when you arrive. If you have a few colleagues, you might want to get in on this together and have one team mate run down to pick it up to be even more efficient.

16. Stay the weekend

I used to live in Brisbane and some of my closest friends live there, but unfortunately I don't usually get up there much. This year I have the opportunity to travel there a couple of times for work and you better believe that I am going to stay the weekend! Where I work, they are totally happy for staff to do this, as long as we pay any difference in fares (if the flights are more expensive for you to travel over the weekend).

This can make for an incredibly low-cost holiday, particularly if you are travelling somewhere where you have friends or family. If not though, don't discount it - look for some low cost accommodation and lock it in. It could be a great chance for you to explore an unfamiliar city that you wouldn't necessarily travel to.

17. Check out upcoming events

Like the last tip, I am all up for encouraging you to make the most of your travel and if there is an option for you to see a show or go to an event one night after work while you are away then I say "Go for it!" I have tickets to see Danielle LaPorte later this month while I am away on a work trip - I had to slightly rearrange the dates of my work trip to make it happen, but if I wasn't travelling for work I would have missed it, full stop. Even though I live I Canberra, the capital city of Australia, we don’t often find that events tour here, so this is a bit of a treat.

The great thing is that I have convinced one of my work colleagues to come with me, which has two benefits - She has now been introduced to Danielle's work for the first time and we will have a chance to bond over the event! I can't wait!

I wasn't a fan of travelling for work until I read this post -

22 practical tips to make it more bearable!

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    Do you love travelling for work or do you die inside a little every time your boss announces another trip? I am firmly in the middle. To make travelling for work more bearable (for both of us!) I created this post! ~ Pop Your Career

    Do you love travelling for work or do you die inside a little every time your boss announces another trip? I am firmly in the middle. To make travelling for work more bearable (for both of us!) I created this post! ~ Pop Your Career

    Don’t let the new year ruin your career

    Don't let the new year ruin your career ~ Pop Your Career

    At the beginning of every new year, a few common themes become apparent with my clients and the people I encounter in general. Themes that tend to change our way of thinking and trigger actions that can sometimes be quite counter-productive in terms of career development. In this Facebook Live stream I talked about the three most common themes that I see at this time of the year and what you can do to make sure the new year doesn’t ruin your career!

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    How my values affect my career and business

    My values are the guiding principles by which I live my life. These are the rules I follow in my life, career and business to make sure that I am always being true to myself.

    I recently decided to review my values and really get clear about how I want them to show up in my career and business. Previously, I have tried to separate out my personal values and business values but since my business is me, I decided to define my values in a way that they can work cohesively across all areas of my life. I used the process I show you in my free e-book, How to Define Your Purpose, Vision and Values (Then Use Them to Craft Your Perfect Career!) and in this post I thought I would explain each of the values I have chosen and how I make sure I am honouring them in my career and business. Hopefully this will provide you with some inspiration for choosing and defining your own values and finding ways to weave them into your work.

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    How I am avoiding overwhelm (& you can too!)

    If you subscribe to my newsletter, The Hump Day Digest, you might know that I have taken on some extra responsibilities in my day job recently and that I have also embarked on the huge task of decluttering my house and reducing the amount of junk in my life. You might also know that I have been taking on a bit of client work lately and have been enjoying the positive feedback.

    What you don't know is that I am also preparing for my mother and father-in-law to come and stay with us for three months, I have almost completed all of my Christmas shopping (even though it is still October), I have some pretty intense Pop Your Career goals that I am working towards (including publishing my first book) and I am still fighting chronic pain in my neck and arm!

    Am I feeling overwhelmed? Nope! Was this always the case? Definitely not! A couple of weeks ago I had a moment where I could physically feel overwhelm creeping in, as I looked at my to-do list and wondered, "How on earth am I going to get it all done?" Thankfully, I recognised the feeling and was able to nip it in the bud by implementing a clear and proven strategy. This is how I am avoiding overwhelm - and you can too!

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    5 Side Projects That Don’t Involve a Hustle

    Thinking about starting something on the side of your day job, but not in the mood for a hustle? Here are 5 side projects that can help you find genuine fulfilment - no hustle required! ~ Pop Your Career

    You may have heard the term "side hustle" in your rounds on the internet. Traditionally, a side hustle is a form of entrepreneurship that you take up on the side of your day job. You might do this in the hopes of eventually giving up your 9-5. Perhaps you are looking for a way to make a little extra cash or maybe you just need to fill your creative cup.

    Personally, I am a huge advocate of the side hustle but only because it fits into my lifestyle. For some of you, the idea of hustling in your spare time might scare you to pieces or bore you to tears and that is okay! In this post I am sharing 5 side projects that you can take up to improve your fulfilment and I promise you, there is no hustling involved.

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    The Art of Managing a Team

    Managing a team is a balancing act between achieving results, making sure your team members are happy and finding your own fulfilment. It truly is an art form. Find out how to do it all in this post ~ Pop Your Career

    Managing a team is truly an art form and it is just as difficult as it is rewarding. Humans are unpredictable and for this reason, people management can sometimes feel like managing a zoo; so many different personalities, needs and feeding schedules. It can be an absolute nightmare trying to keep up.

    But as I mentioned, managing a team can also be rewarding. Personally, I get a huge rush from helping people discover and maximise their strengths and this is one of the greatest rewards that I have taken from team management. One of the greatest difficulties I experienced was balancing the needs of my team with the needs of the organisation and this has prompted me to share my top tips for managing a team, with emphasis on both success and your own happiness.

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