Written by Chani Hislop, DreamCraft Experience

Throughout my 10 year career in health, I had the opportunity to start my dream role as a new graduate Dietitian, lead a regional team of 35 staff as well as manage state-wide services and projects, supporting the health and wellbeing of cancer survivors in South Australia & nationally. Here are some of the most valuable lessons, learnings and insights that have seen me through the career I built and continue to take with me as I now venture into the world of business.

Firstly, if you have the opportunity to work in the country or regional areas, and you are career driven, take it up.

Country gives you exposure to a diverse workload, giving you additional skills, knowledge and experience while being able to explore areas you may want to specialize in, in the future. There’s also a great sense of community to be a part. For me personally, this opened up doors to progress my career that I hadn’t even imagined beforehand and would have taken me years, more likely decades to achieve had I been living in the city initially.

A “no” is simply a redirection (not rejection)

Let’s be honest, rejection in any form in life can sting, however it can be a blessing and a redirection to something even greater. (BONUS TIP If you find yourself experiencing this, write a list of the benefits to your goals, dreams & vision of the rejection and the drawbacks to these things if it was in fact a “yes”). There were a couple of times where I’d interviewed for positions but was unsuccessful. Going through the process however, I was offered other roles as a result including Department Coordinator and later Allied Health Team Leader. Being a nurturer, highly connection driven and someone who loves to see others thrive in what they’re great at and follow their dreams, these positions were more aligned to me naturally.

This leads to the next point – You will never be ready, so say “yes”

One of the greatest questions you can ask yourself in making decisions whether it’s career, business or life in general is – “ Does this get me closer to my goals, dreams and vision?”. In both of the situations above, I didn’t feel ready. I wasn’t sure if I had all the skills, knowledge and experience needed to perform in these positions, let alone having nailed those for the one I was already in. What I did have was the backing and belief of my manager and Team Leader at the time as well as the courage to say “yes”. As I discovered, you learn pretty quickly and develop these as you grow into the role.

You will never be faced with challenges that you aren’t able to overcome

While that can feel tough to grasp, especially when you’re in the thick of things, what appear to be challenges, are in fact presenting themselves in order to support you – whether it’s in development of skills, knowledge or bringing people together who can assist. I’ll be forever grateful for the mentors, colleagues and friendships that were formed during some of the biggest challenges that I have faced. It was also in these moments where I became more resilient, more strategic in my thinking and equipped to continue supporting my team and the broader community we served.

Learn what’s important to others and what they want

Whether it’s applying for a new position, a promotion, talking with your boss, fellow colleagues, writing grant applications or life in general, this is 101 in communication. This was something that I came to understand with time. Me being the natural carer and about the team, didn’t cut it initially when attempting to influence decisions being made by upper management. However, when I learnt what was important and would impact decision making, I was able to –
● Grow the team, with additional positions, while other teams were being dismantled or under pressure due to budget constraints.
● Receive grant funding for equipment and infrastructure changes to redevelop sites
● Negotiate paid time off to attend personal development courses that would benefit not only myself, the broader work of the team and organisation

Quiet achievers can make great leaders!

You don’t have to be the loudest or most outspoken person, to be a great leader and have an impact. Understand your unique strengths, your individual values, how you process, integrate and deliver information. Surround yourself with coaches, mentors, and people who have walked the same or similar path. If you ever find yourself caught in comparisons, look to see what you admire within them and find where you show and express these too because… you can only see in others what exists in you .

And finally…

Be ok for your dreams and vision to change

But we’ll delve into that more in another blog!

Get in touch with Chani

Chani is a Speaker, Creative Facilitator & Co-Founder of DreamCraft.

Throughout her life, Chani has always loved helping people achieve what they want. Whether it’s in team sports, working with clients as a Dietitian, providing leadership and mentoring to students and early career health professionals; as well as being involved in state-wide projects, supporting cancer survivors to enhance their quality of life.

Chani now works to bring together her lived experiences, love for human behaviour & mindset as well as her creativity to help leaders and business owners who are here to have an impact, craft their goals and dreams into lived experiences and services.

Website: www.dreamcraftexperience.com.au
Facebook: DreamCraft Experience
Instagram: @dreamcraftexperience
LinkedIn: Chani Hislop

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