Welcome to the Babyproof Newsletter – 11th March, 2016

International Women’s Day and The Pram in the Hall

2016-03-08 18.23.38I hope you all enjoyed a brilliant International Women’s Day this week. I had the pleasure of attending the opening of the exhibition “The Pram in the Hall” by the brilliant feminist artist Alice Instone.

The exhibition is a series of lists by a cornucopia of women, a number of them celebrities, which reveal the simplicities and complexities of life for women
juggling a multitude of tasks.

The exhibition is held in a beautiful exhibition space near Borough Market, is free and is well worth the visit. You can even add your own list! For more details have a look at Alice’s website.


On the BabyProof Blog

This month at BabyProof we’ve been focusing on Networking. We all know networking is important for career progression, but it is also an essential strategy if you want to Babyproof your career. Which is why I’m always interested in organisations that have their own internal networks. These networks aren’t always well attended, I’ve noticed, or they are simply too random and infrequent to make any real impact.  If you’re network could use a boost, take a look at my article  “Build it and they will come – how to host a networking event that your employees will love”. It’s packed with practical advice for networking event organisers who want to boost engagement and attendance.

But if you’re an entrepreneur or an employee looking for networking tips, there’s something for you too.  In the guest post “Networking – Don’t rush it! 3 tips to help you do it in style”  Caroline Armstrong of Pitch Perfect Club gives you 3 easy tools to use before every networking event, to make sure you make the best first impression.

The other Blog post which you may have missed was a more passionate one to say the least! I wrote it when I was feeling angry and frustrated after hearing that another brilliant talented career woman I know is preparing to hand in her notice 12 months after returning from her second maternity. To find out why she’s doing it, and how I think her employer could have avoided this, have a read of “We value you and we’re on your side: Retaining Female Talent is Easier Than You Think” 

Stepping out of my comfort zone

That’s the thing about setting yourself goals. It sort of compels you to do them. I don’t know about you but whenever I commit myself to a big goal (the bigger, the better), I quickly find myself on a moving train heading fast through a landscape of opportunities towards the day when that goal becomes a reality. Those of you who were following my news last year will remember that’s exactly what happened when I set myself the goal of publishing BabyProof Your Career last year. Opportunities to help me on the way very quickly presented themselves and before I knew it I’d reached the point of no return.

And it’s happening all over again.

This year one of the goals I set for myself was to deliver a TED talk. Now it is true that I am a speaker and that I am well paid for my presentations. But don’t think for one minute that makes the idea of doing a TED talk somehow seem easy and attainable. Quite the opposite. If feels scary and unimaginable and makes me want to curl up in a ball and hide in my comfort zone. But what is the point of goals, if not to take you from scarey, unimaginable and I could never do that, to “Amazing!”, “I did it!” and “Isn’t it brilliant?”. It’s what happens when you dare to step  I’ve experienced that feeling before, and oh I so want to feel it again.

There’s a famous quote by W.H.Murray (although it is frequently, erroneously attributed to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe) that describes what happens when you make a commitment towards achieving a goal. “All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. “ he says. “A whole stream of events issues form the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.” 

That quote has rung true for me so many times in the past and I am sure this time will be no different.Caroline Flanagan presents "The Imposter" Already, in my quest to deliver a TED talk, the train feels as though it is in motion and opportunities are starting to present themselves. Like the opportunity, last week, to “pitch” for a speaking slot at the ThinkB!G Conference in June. The pitch was a 5 minute presentation at the Pitch Perfect Club “Pitch n Mix” night last Wednesday night, and included posting a 90 second pre-pitch video on social media. If you missed my 90 second video, here is your chance to see it.

I was so nervous shooting that video! While I am quite happy to stand up in front of an audience and deliver a talk, it is quite another thing to post a video on You Tube and send it out to the world. It felt scary and made me want to curl up inside my comfort zone, but I didn’t. I didn’t because I know progress and learning and goals live outside my comfort zone, not within it. And it dawned on me that a 90 second video on You Tube and a 5 minute pitch was one of those “unforeseen incidents” that Murray talks about. The opportunity to speak at a major Conference in front of a huge audience – if that isn’t preparation for a TED talk I don’t know what is!

I’d love to have your support and will be posting updates on my progress each month. Why not sign up here so I can keep you updated?

This week’s coaching question:

“What action do you need to take outside your comfort zone that will bring you closer to achieving your biggest goal this year?”

Answers in an email please to caroline@babyproofyourlife.com

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading, and if you like this post, don’t forget to share it using the buttons below.