“Yes Love, your bum does look big in that”

diverse-business-women-working-togetherTruth hurts, but true friends have your back (and your backside) which can be good news for your career, reveals Uevolve executive coach Lucinda Harlow

Long before anyone invented ‘networking’ there was just fabulous, old-fashioned friendship. My friends are as important to me making a success of my life and career than the people I swap business cards with over nibble-sized croissants at power breakfasts. When a real friend wants to know if the jeans make their bum look huge, you have to be honest. Yup, you have to say, try these instead.

Take my friendship with Sharon, who is a journalist. We met over the garden fence when she moved in next door and our toddlers began chasing each other through the sprinklers. We have been friends through thick and thin, hanging onto each other through everything life throws at us.

The most valuable thing we do for each other is basically force the other to be brave. Which is why I was laughing while reading her blog for Funny Women about how she coped with being at the Stand Up to Stand Out workshop run by Lynne Parker. Sharon wasn’t going to go and gave me quite a long speech about how she is a writer not a performer and the whole idea brought her out in a sweat. Then I gave her a steely glare over the americanos and she said: ‘Oh alright…’

She came back from the workshop so full of how great it was for teaching you the whole ‘being brave’ thing that I might sign up for a go myself.

Thing is, she thought she couldn’t do it and not going was better than failing.

The biggest speech I made to her recently was how I couldn’t possibly do an MSc, what with work, family, moving house and on and on. So she gave me the steely look and short pep talk about why I absolutely was going to sign up that week. ‘Oh alright…’ I said.  It’s the not going that’s the failing. I got a first at the end of last year and have just started the new term at university.

At Uevolve I act as a career buddy to my clients. I know what they are capable of, the excuses they hide behind and the ways to give them courage. Here’s a few tips…

  1. Stop making excuses. You’re just scared rigid. That’s alright. But you still have to do it.
  1. Start getting yourself noticed. In a good way. Toiling away under a cloak of invisibility won’t get you promoted.
  1. Stop believing you haven’t got the right skills. Learning on the job’s okay.
  1. Start small and end big. Just set a couple of titchy goals and get going. Little things make big things happen.
  1. Stop putting yourself down. You are totally brilliant and you will ace it.

About the author

Lucinda is an Executive and Corporate Coach. You can reach Lucinda on: uevolve, LinkedIn, Twitter

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