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Voco Newsletter

Voco Team

Mind the gap!

We love talking about all aspects of work, especially when they relate to our own career experiences - so last week, our co-founder, Katie, was delighted to join a panel discussion, hosted by the awesome Working Girls Network, to discuss the Confidence Gap.

The confidence gap is the gulf between how men and women perceive their own abilities in the workplace. Countless studies have shown that women routinely underestimate themselves and that this lack of confidence hugely impacts their career progress - in fact it's the common denominator that runs through almost all gender disparities at work.

Last week’s discussion - which included both male and female voices - looked at the subject from all angles, and focused on practical things that both women and men can do to close the gap. From giving everyone a chance to speak up in meetings, positive reinforcement of opinions and ideas, the dismantling of the ‘perfectionism’ ideal, to impactful allyship, and developing supportive networks of peer advisors…

You can read more about the confidence gap here.

Five career questions to ask yourself right now

So, just like that, it’s December… and as another bleak pandemic-filled year staggers to a close, many of us will be looking forward to some Christmas cheer to take the edge off what’s been another trying year. Amidst the celebrations and bonhomie, at Voco we’ll also be taking a bit of time to reflect on 2021 and the year that was, career-wise that is.

Doing a little year-end retrospective is one of our favourite ways to wrap up the last 12 months and to think about what’s gone well and what could have gone better at work. By taking a moment to pause and reflect, we can make sure we don’t rush headfirst into the new year without learning some key lessons from what’s gone before - and setting ourselves up for success next year!

Here are five questions to help you do a mini-annual-review of your career progress... Jot down some thoughts on each, think them through in your head as you go about your daily life, or - even better - throw a few into your next Voco conversation!

Q. What new skills did you learn in 2021?

Q. What are your top career lessons of the last 12 months?

Q. What are you most proud of this year?

Q. What daily, weekly or monthly routines have made you happy and why?

Q. What do you want to be known for in 2022?

And to make things even easier, you can read more about how to approach each question here.

Career inspiration from Voco

LISTEN: WorkLife with Adam Grant

Adam Grant is big deal in organisational psychology circles and is extremely effective at simplifying and popularising complex concepts about how we work now. If you need some bitesize inspo we suggest you follow him on Insta or Twitter, and if you’d like a deeper dive into how he thinks, then check out his mega popular WorkLife podcast which is packed with advice, ideas and incredible stories about how to make work ‘not suck’.

READ: Staying power! How to thrive in the great resignation if you don’t want to quit

Yes, the headlines are all shouting about the ‘great resignation’ and apparently there are currently way more vacancies than jobseekers out there, but what do you do if you don’t want to - or can’t - quit? How do you make the most of your situation and actually reap some benefits from an exodus from your office…? This guide from the Guardian looks at the practical things you can do to harness your staying power...

READ: Office gossip is vital for relationship building

Watercooler moments are dead, right? Maybe not… The pandemic may have created whole new workplace cultures and ways of engaging with our colleagues, but the reality is that office gossip is actually more important for our well-being than many of us realise. Small talk and spontaneous moments of organic conversation are vital to building connected, thriving working relationships; but their value is at threat due to new hybrid working patterns… So try and find time for a few moments of levity if you’re at the office or between Zoom calls and remember that sometimes it’s good to have a gossip!

WATCH: The Holiday

OK... so this is technically not career inspiration but we wanted to end on a festive note, and in a recent poll of our favourite Christmas movies, The Holiday topped the list for being, well, not terrible. Two unlucky-in-love career women swap transatlantic homes  - a glam LA pad and a chocolate box English cottage, since you asked - and then proceed to have pretty transformative holidays as they overcome the obstacles that have been holding them back both in love and in life. It lifts the lid on the messy parts of heartbreak, is sweet without being saccharine, inspiring without being wholly unrealistic (hmmm, just mostly unrealistic) and it shines a light on the importance of valuing yourself. So get cosy on the sofa, grab a mince pie, and join Kate, Cameron, Jude and Jack for some life-affirming Christmas escapism!

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