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  • Date posted:06/03/2023
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With Catherine Edenborough

Recently, one of our Lift Up Ambassadors, Katy Barber, sat down with Catherine Edenborough. Catherine is an Executive Coach, focussed on helping the next generation realise their potential. As such, we felt that she was the perfect person to talk to about making a bigger impact in our next career move.

Whether it’s a promotion, a new role, or a different department, this guide will help accelerate your growth. Some of the topics Katy and Catherine discussed include:

  • Starting Your New Role
  • Beware The Dip
  • Embracing Equity

Ready to smash your next career move? Read on!

Starting Your New Role

When you start a new role, the first feeling is almost one of excitement – but as you begin to learn more about the position, this can quickly dwindle.

Instead, you can be left feeling overwhelmed but trying to maintain a confident ‘façade’. Catherine likens this to acting like a swan, looking graceful on the surface while your feet are frantically paddling below the surface.

Catherine suggests that rather than trying to seem like we’ve got everything under control, being transparent about our feelings can actually be better. It’s okay not to be perfect at everything when starting a new role.

She explains that when you transition into a new role, this is actually the perfect time to ask questions about anything. You’ve got a ‘honeymoon phase’, where it’s acceptable to ask questions about anything you’re unsure of – make sure you don’t waste it!

The First 100 Days

One of Catherine’s biggest points was that the first 100 days after a new career move are perhaps the most crucial for long-term success.

These first 100 days are when you have the most eyes on you, because you’re new to the role. People are developing their first impressions about you, so it’s vital you make a memorable and positive impact.

On the other hand, it can be harder to come back from a poor initial impression. It can slow your progression, and mean that you get passed over for certain projects and promotions.

But that doesn’t mean you need all the answers!

Instead, focus on asking people questions and advice. If you’ve just joined a new team, ask for their insights — especially if this is an area you don’t know much about.

Beware The Dip

At the beginning of every new career move, there is a dip in motivation. At Fraser Dove, we call this the ‘90-Day Dip’, and we weren’t surprised that Catherine had spotted this too.

When you first start a new role or position, your motivation is at an all-time high. You’ve taken the next step in your career, but as you learn more about the role, you can quickly get overwhelmed. This leads to decreased motivation, and while everyone’s ‘dips’ are different, we all get them when starting a new role.

But the dip can be overcome.

Want to know how? We’ve listed some actionable points below!

Be Clear on Your Success

Success looks different for everyone. Where one person may chase a high-power role, another may choose a path that leads to a more flexible work-life blend. Everyone is an individual. Judging personal success on someone else’s progress will never produce the desired results.

Instead, figure out what you want in your career and go for it. A clear idea of how you can be successful is an excellent step towards limiting the severity of the dip.

Delegation is a Great Tool

If you’ve just gained a promotion, one of the biggest challenges can be letting go of your previous responsibilities. Learning how to delegate effectively is an essential skill, and it makes your transition much more seamless.

If you try to control every area, your workload will almost instantly become unsustainable and can quickly lead to burnout. Rather than risking your health, remember that it’s okay to delegate tasks to other people in your team.

In fact, as people progress through their careers, it’s normal for them to spend less time on areas which were previously integral to their role.

Ask For Support

If you start to feel overwhelmed or like you need additional support, don’t be afraid to ask for guidance. While it may not feel like it, your superiors will, at some point, have been in the same position as you. They may have developed their own specific tips suited to that role, and will usually be happy to share information to help you.

Asking your superiors for advice can actually improve their perception of you too. So next time your workload starts getting on top of you, ask for support.

Welcome Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome is a common occurrence in our professional lives, especially after a recent career move. Those who suffer from it constantly question whether or not they can actually achieve something. If that’s you, you may question if you ‘lucked’ your way into the role.

The short answer? No, you didn’t.

You went up against a whole host of other qualified people, and you are the best suited for the job. If you weren’t, it would’ve gone to someone else.

With that in mind, it’s integral to remember that growth only happens outside of your comfort zone. So when feelings of Imposter Syndrome arise, take it as a good sign. You’re making progress.

Embracing Equity

In honour of International Women’s Day, we also asked Catherine about #EmbraceEquity, and how we to take that into account after a recent career move.

One of the biggest misconceptions that people make is splitting traits into masculine and feminine. Catherine argues that these are all human traits, and can apply to men and women equally. Dividing them amongst genders doesn’t actually help bring us together, since it creates more of a barrier.

Instead, we should focus on what unifies us, and help lift each other up.

One piece of actionable advice was that men and women, together, should support the women in their network. By providing support, we can help each other gain confidence and elevate our positions.

One easy way to help do that is by becoming an Advocate of Lift Up. This completely free and widely accessible initiative is designed to promote women in the Life Sciences.

At Lift Up, we recognise that we can only create meaningful change by working together, which is why we’ve made it so easy to join and be a member. Sign up, and together we can #CloseTheGap.