‘Bully’ is a word that stirs emotions in many of us. It may bring back awful memories from your childhood. Or maybe more recent memories if one of your children has had to deal with a bully at school. Bullies make us feel small, hurt us physically and emotionally, and can have a devastating effect on our mental health and wellbeing. But we don’t only encounter bullies at school.
A friend of mine has just spent six weeks working on something that has now turned out to be a waste of time. His friends had questioned him on the effectiveness of the work that he was doing (particularly as he was working long hours including over weekends). He is the same friend, in fact, that gave me a copy of Cal Newport’s Deep Work that points out that an overworked brain can’t filter the relevant from the irrelevant. So why is he in this situation where he has, in fact, spent a huge amount of time on irrelevant work?
We had a presentation skills session last weekend on the Executive MBA course. We were divided into small groups according to how confident we felt at presenting and how we rated our presentation skills. My group were very confident and we ranked ourselves high. And I wondered what we could possibly learn. The answer was a lot!
We recently attended a talk by Rachel Kelly about how to build resilience and well-being. What an inspiring speaker! She spoke of her own experience with mental health issues and how since then she has been working to help remove the stigma around mental health. Her specific focus has been on mainstreaming the research about what works in terms of addressing depression.
Firstly, we’d like to thank you for coming with us on the We Are All Wonder Women journey. Let us express our deepest gratitude for the privilege of allowing us into your life.
Our journey to establishing We Are All Wonder Women has been long and circuitous. We’ve come here through very different journeys. Nadine went to university as a mature student and then worked up through successive roles to an amazing career in international nature conservation with UN Environment. Eugenie started her career in the typical way studying at university and then working in various roles in nature conservation, building up a broad set of skills and experiences. She now has a fantastic role working for four international NGOs while studying part-time for an Executive MBA at the University of Cambridge.
New Year, New You? Isn’t that what is supposed to happen? All the hopes, dreams and ambitions you put in place at the beginning of 2018. Maybe you reached some of those, but maybe you didn’t achieve everything you’d set out to. You had the best intentions. The very best intentions. According to a YouGov poll, the most common resolutions for 2018 were to: eat healthier; get more exercise; and take care of ourselves better. So at the start of January you bought a low-fat recipe book, got a new gym membership, and pledged to get eight hours of sleep every night. But as the weeks go by motivation starts to dwindle. You’ve had some late nights at work so didn’t have time to shop for the ingredients required for the low-fat recipe book. You haven’t managed five hours of sleep per night, let alone eight hours, and you just don’t have the energy to use the gym membership anymore. Oh well, back to the daily grind. You’ll try again in 2020, right?
In the Executive MBA, we’ve been given a wide range of reading from thick, heavy accounting and finance books to regular penguin-sized books for management praxis and management science. The smaller books are shorter and easier reads on the one hand but tackle some tough subjects. One of these is ‘Difficult Conversations’ of the Harvard Negotiation Project. At a first glance, this looks like a light read and I wasn’t impressed with the first couple of chapters but as I read on and faced a difficult conversation myself - I quickly realised that this book punches high above its weight!
Quit social media? Is that even possible? It was kind of shocking when we first read Cal Newport’s advice to do just that. Could we? Would we? And would it have the positive effect that Cal writes about in his book and talks about in his recent TED talk? Well, we can report back that indeed it does! We are both happily cured of our addiction to social media. We may dip in now and then but not on a regular basis anymore and it has made the world of difference. We have noticed that we are less distracted, we are experiencing improved quality time with our family and friends, and are much, much more productive.
Our last blog post was about our top five books if you are looking for a career change but don’t know where to start. There are also some awesome talks on this that we’ve pulled together for you. Enjoy!
A few friends are going through a mid-career crisis of one sort or another at the moment. A career crisis can be incredibly frustrating and confusing and can often lead to a loss of self-confidence. However, they can also end up being blessings in disguise by providing the opportunity to rethink what a fulfilling career looks like to you, and by giving you the impetus to make positive career choices.
To help you identify which path to take, we have compiled a list of our top five books that can help you with what to do next.
We Are All Wonder Women is an international movement for female conservation professionals to be inspired, connected, and empowered to create an authentic, fulfilling and happy career.