Tag Archives for " life balance "

What To Do When Your Career Is Out Of Balance

It’s no secret that many business professionals today face burnout, stress, and overwhelm. There is so much to get done with limited resources, while keeping up with technology and collaborating with an increasingly virtual and global teams.

Could this pain however, be self-inflicted?

You see, most business professionals have had great successes in their career. They have worked hard, been creative and earned respect of others for past achievements and most importantly, pushed themselves to new levels of capability.

The thing is at some point, what was once hard becomes easy and you may become less excited. What ultimately happens is you find yourself in a comfort zone where you are not really challenged or growing. It’s as if you have hit the upper limit in your current role and are just drifting through life with no certain aim.

I like the way the author Gay Hendricks describes it:

“Each of us has an inner thermostat setting that determines how much love, success, and creativity we allow ourselves to enjoy. When we exceed our inner thermostat setting, we will often do something to sabotage ourselves, causing us to drop back into the old, familiar zone where we feel secure.”

In the past, people too often consider that burnout, stress and overwhelm are simply caused by working too hard. The solution for this, don’t work so hard or take some time off and then come back and don’t work so hard. Doesn’t this solution merely look at the symptoms of the problem rather the root cause?

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back.”  ~ Paulo Coelho

Would you be open to looking at it from another perspective?

What would happen if business professionals were to take a closer look at their own behaviour a little more closely? Maybe the problem is a little closer to home. In fact, a great statement I heard from a speaker once was: 

“if I’m the one with the problem, then I must be the one with the solution.”

Maybe you are reaching the upper limit on your inner thermostat today and feel a bit overwhelmed. If so, it might be the right time to pay attention to the 'message coming from the inside'. If that sounds a bit 'out there' for you, on a more practical note a period of self-reflection followed up with action might just be the thing you need right now.

Here are a few questions for you to reflect and answer in your quiet moment:

  1. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you assess your own levels of stress or overwhelm?
  2. What are the effects of this stress on your job satisfaction?
  3. How aligned do you feel personally with the company's vision, direction, mission, and values?
  4. What would happen in the future if you don't make any changes in your own behaviours?

Now what is the best decision for me to make?

As you look forward for the next 12 months, what is the most critical thing for you to resolve? Rather than thinking that it’s going to be pretty much the same as last year, it is time for you to step out of your comfort zone and into your greatness.

Also, remember to download your FREE “CAREER HEALTH ASSESSMENT” by clicking here.

Let's take control That is where the magic happens!

From my heart to yours


AboutDonovangrantDonovan helps Business Professionals in IT and Payments to get to the core of critical issues so they achieve great results in business and life. Clients make changes to help position them as leaders so they can over-deliver and stand out in a crowd.

Personal Branding Your Career For Success

Your personal brand could determine the future of your career. Aparently, career management and career design are out. Personal career branding is in!

If you’re like most people, you’ve heard the term ‘personal branding’ being used liberally on social media by solo-preneurs, small business owners and of course Mr Virgin, Sir Richard Branson.

Well guess what, it’s time for us employees and freelancers to become the architect of their careers too.

Why is a brand important?

Of course we all know what a brand is; just think Nike, Macdonald’s and John Lewis. The question we really want to know is why do we need to brand our career right now?

Simple answer: In this increasingly complex market place we operate in, people want to know who you really are well before they meet you. This actually holds true in career, relationships and life.

Social Media has changed the game for recruiters, companies and us the workforce. The result? You’re already in the spotlight whether you like it or not!

"Personal branding is about managing your name — even if you don’t own a business — in a world of misinformation, disinformation, and semi-permanent Google records. Going on a date? Chances are that your ‘blind’ date has Googled your name. Going to a job interview? Ditto.” ~ Tim Ferriss, Author, 4-Hour Work Week

What is your brand?

Simply stated, your personal brand is a blend of your personal values, attributes, drivers, passions and strengths. It’s the thing that differentiates you from peers and competition.

So, what does your personal brand look like today?

You’re not alone if you don’t have an answer to that question. In fact I remember during an career planning session with a former line manager and I told him “I really want to grow my career brand this year.” He looked at me as if I asked him to lend me a million pounds!

My guess is that most people are not taking time out to focus on their personal career brand. And it’s no surprise…, the company is not doing it for you either. Yes, you have a solid service history, healthy salary and track record of project delivery. But, what do people say about you when you are not in the room?

“Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.” ~ Malcolm Forbes, Publisher

Determine your brand

So how do you set the game up in your favour? Discover your personal brand and give yourself a better chance of success.

Here are few great reasons to spend time focusing on your personal brand right now:

  • Get carity on what your perceived and actual value is
  • Makes it easier to map out your future career path
  • Helps you stand out as a specialist and natural leader
  • Raise your confidence and boost your image
  • Enables unique opportunities that did not previously exist for you

Assess your brand

Okay, let’s take a closer look at how well Your personal brand is rated today. Take a look at the five criteria below give give yourself a score of great or needs work.

Brand is unique: Does your brand offer a unique promise of a value?

Brand is consistent: Does your brand offer consistency in attitude and outlook?

Brand is memorable: Do you create memorable brand experiences that set you apart from the average?

Brand brings value to others: What is the value that you bring to your team and company that you are known for? How effective are you at delivering this value?

Brand is trustworthy: Are you someone who delivers time and time aagain and others can rely on you?

So how did you score your brand. Are you in great shape or do you need work?

Keep your brand visible

One thing for sure, most of the people only assess their career status at annual review time or when seeking a new job. By doing this, they miss out on looking after their career throughought the journey.

“All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” ~ Tom Peters in Fast Company

I’m inviting you to “do not be like most people”. Take a stand and become the architect of your career. Whether you are moving up, moving out or staying in your career role, look after your personal brand. It could well mean the difference in your promotion, bonus or even a new job.

So, what’s your next step in building your personal brand? My advice, take a look at any areas you rated needs work and get started today!

Your personal brand needs to be managed for life and not just for career changes.

From my heart to yours


Are you for or against personal branding in your career? Why so?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below – we value your honest opinion.

To learn more about career branding and mid-career transitions, contact us at donovangrant.com or send an email to info@donovangrant.com.

Also, remember to download our FREE “CAREER HEALTH CHECK” tool by clicking here.

AboutDonovangrantDonovan Grant is a Career Lifestyle Trainer & Coach and founder of Alantine, a company helping professionals to define their own path that is unique, genuine and memorable.

Raise Your Child’s Social Value: A Simple Lesson Smart People Wish They’d Learned Sooner

Raise Your Child’s Social Value: A Simple Lesson Smart People Wish They'd Learned Sooner

Donovan Grant

There are a ton of children who do not have the people skills they need for success. Some have top academic skills. Some have been gifted amazing talents in sports and the arts. And some are so talented on video games and the computer, that they make their parents heads spin!

There is one more ‘secret’ skill they need that you can help them with. They need the gift of people skills. If there is one thing that children and adults have to do on a daily basis, it is to communicate. So, if your children are groomed to have great communication skills, they will have even better confidence and they will develop the art that is so needed for their future.

Why develop people skills?

Our children do not wake up in the morning and say to themselves, “Oh I need to work on my people skills today! Where can I find me a good book so I can teach myself?” we have to lead children with what they already want. Some want to be actors, some doctors, some lawyers, and some hair dressers. To succeed in all these fields will involve them connecting with other people.

For example, your daughter maybe a whiz at maths and looks forward to a future in engineering and maybe even become a great inventor. Your son may be a brilliant footballer and he has a number of top colleges trying to sign him up to study with them.

What you see in both these cases, the children will require people skills if they are to do well. When universities, businesses and teams take young people on, they want to know that you can fit in! They want to be sure that you will not rock the boat. They want to know that you can speak up for yourself. Now understand this, you don’t need to be a clone. You just need to be yourself.

One thing for sure is that there is a big majority of adults who lack good people skills. You can look across many fields; teaching, banking, layers, IT, sport, clergy, doctors; the list is endless. There are people that you think should be better and they are not. They were never trained to be. When you train your children to work in a spirit of respect and honour with other people, they will move up the success ladder of life.

As we move forward into grooming your child for success, here two top parenting practices to work with:

Top Parenting Practice #1

What does your child need most?

When we talk about communication skills, most often we will think of talking to others. The thing is that there is far more to it than that.

To keep it simple let’s use an example of two people in a conversation. For the conversation to work well they will need to be in rapport. One person will be talking while the other is listening, then the roles will change as they continue to make things flow smoothly. Of course there will be moments where one person butts in, however as long as they readjust they will still be in rapport.

Now if that conversation went the opposite way and both people were constantly trying to talk at the same time it would be chaos. In fact it would be more like they were arguing. Indeed it would be hard to get any agreement of things went like this.

And what about if one of the people in the conversation was shy and lacked the confidence to talk with others? The thing is- there would not be a real conversation. It would be a one way thing.

This helps to point out three steps that your child may take on to improve their people skills:

Step 1. Listen  – When your son develops his listening, it changes the way others see him, it increases his respect for others and it gives him the chance the understand what he hears.

Step 2. Think –  If your daughter thinks before she speaks, she will be clearer on what she want to say. This will demonstrate that she cares about the other person and will allow her have better listeners.

Step 3. Respond – By responding after listening and thinking your child’s conversation can be in full flow. There will a real person to person connection, much like a couple of synchronised swimmers in the pool. The difference between responding and reacting is huge, for both the speaker and the listener!


Would it be useful if your child developed their people skills?

Let’s take 5 minutes every day to talk to our children about people skills. We can find ways to work with them to improve their people skills in a much bigger way.

Top Parenting Practice #2

Do you read with your children?

One of the best books for helping your children understand people skills is How To Win Friends And Influence People By Dale Carnegie. It’s an old book but it teaches people skills through stories which have been proven as the best way for us to learn. Getting along with people in social and business settings are key to us having high self-esteem.

Read it and see what you think. Just between us- I wish a book like this was given to me when I was a child, it would have made a huge difference in my growing up!

What sort of insights will you gain from reading this book?

How to improve your personality so people connect with you even more

How to understand people so you are able be more flexible in your style

How to make people like you so that you remain true to your own values

How to develop your ability to lead others so that you give and get respect


Young people who take part in out classes always develop something that brings their personality out in a unique way.

In my experience, great people skills are important in parenting, marriage and business. Whether you are 9 or 99, connection with others is important.

Can your children succeed in life with very little people skills? The answer from all parents will be a big ‘no’. Technical skills and know how alone are not enough for them to be their best. If you can’t get along with others, you won’t truly be successful.

Let’s raise the next generation to respect and honour others!

We believe in your goals and dreams for the future!

Donovan Grant is a coach, mentor, blogger, speaker and IT professional who brings his wisdom of parenting for the last 21 years and coaching clients through the stages of raising youth and empowering leaders with life lessons that are changing generations.  He is a passionate and committed leader who believes that we all have the ability to help to change someone else’s life. Actively doing so as a catalyst for many years he teaches how to live a life of success, balance, integrity and fun, whether at work or at play. www.donovangrant.com



The Hidden Feelings Of Parenting: A Workplace Lesson We Can All Learn Before It’s Too Late

The Hidden Feelings Of Parenting: A Workplace Lesson We Can All Learn Before It’s Too Late

By Donovan Grant

Have you ever acted a little bit weird? Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone if you say “yes!”

The thing is- when we do things that are out of character people will wonder “what’s up with her today?” The wrong word, an unusual action or just dressing differently is enough to arouse suspicion that something is wrong. So when you act as normal and someone gets annoyed as a result – it leaves you thinking “what’s up with him?”

You can speak for yourself; however one thing for sure is that I’m not God and can’t speak everyone’s language. So when Dave, my colleague at the office recently said “can we have a quick chat, there’s an important issue we need to discuss”. He got my full attention. We had been working on the same team for the past couple of months, so the obvious thing was that there were some problems on the project.

“There seems to be a conspiracy against me!”

What would you say to that? We were working for a financial services company developing software so conspiracy just didn’t quite fit in. The plot thickened and he had my undivided attention.

What Dave meant was at the team meeting the day before he sensed an air of negativity towards him and he was not comfortable some people’s attitude. He even questioned a recent comment that I had jokingly made the day before. I explained that it just normal office banter and offered him an apology just in case. Note to self: Just because a joke may be amusing to you, doesn’t mean everyone else will find it funny.

He didn’t find it funny.

He had felt that it was another person having a poke at him while he was down.

I didn’t realise that he was down until we sat for the meeting.

He went on to explain that for several weeks now he felt that several of the team were generally being rude towards him and some have even ignored. Some of his language spoke volumes as he described how he had been feeling stressed, outcast, lonely, fed up and ill-treated! This was not going to be a quick fix or a quick chat for Dave.

Have you ever felt like your colleagues were all working against you? That’s just how Dave felt.

“Enough is enough! I’m not taking any more crap from anyone.”

Sometimes we just never know what is going on for the other person and you just happen to be the one that tips them over the edge! In the team meeting, Dave had reacted quite forcefully to a cheeky request from another team mate. This prompted a moment of silence in the room followed by a few veiled amusing comments uncluding:


“ding ding, round two”

“oh my gosh!”

“one – nil to Dave!”

Today it was just me and Dave. We sat and talked some more to see if we could find a way to help resolve his conflict issues. This was not a coaching session. I’m not even sure if Dave knows that I am a coach; it was just a heart to heart from one dad to another.

Out of nowhere he revealed what was his underlying worry. He has a one year old son and he is upset because he does not get to spend time with his son during the week. Due to the extra travelling to our other office, this meant that his son was nearly always asleep when he returned home. This was really stressing Dave out.

Have you missed out on your children growing up because of long hours away from home? Me too.

Dave is one of thousands of mums and dads who face this dilemma every day.

Sometimes the burden gets so heavy, that you can’t help but to crack under the pressure. Trying to be the best parent you can be while trying to raise a loving family.

Life can be so tough on parents.

Dave worked out a plan to resolve the conflict that he was having with one person in particular:

1. Arrange meeting with his manager to investigate a transfer to office nearer to home

2. Take some time alone to become clear on what problem his colleague is causing and what outcome he was after

3. Go for a coffee with the irritating team mate to clear the air and explain how his actions  are unneeded at present.

We left that meeting room in good spirits and there was an unspoken bond of oneness. It is amazing how powerful it is to have someone to talk to when you are stuck. We promised to catch up over the next week.

When we have parenting problems, it is not unusual for us to let out frustration on an annoying friend at the office. Mums and dads get frustrated at work every day. The thing is when you are a parent; you never really switch off being a parent; even at work! So when you feel stress knocking on your door, take the chance to ease the weight from your shoulders.

Have you got a conflict with a colleague that is causing you unnecessary worry while at the office? Don’t let it continue to grow. ‘Handle the dragon while it’s little!’

Do just what Dave did. By taking time out to become clear on the facts and create your best outcome and you too can get yourself back on track.

Let’s work together and keep our parenting bond strong!

Donovan Grant is a coach, mentor, blogger, speaker and IT professional who brings his wisdom of parenting for the last 21 years and coaching clients through the stages of raising youth and empowering leaders with life lessons that are changing generations.  He is a passionate and committed leader who believes that we all have the ability to help to change someone else’s life. Actively doing so as a catalyst for many years he teaches how to live a life of success, balance, integrity and fun, whether at work or at play. www.donovangrant.com


5 Top Reasons Children Fail And What To Do About It

5 Top Reasons Children Fail And What To Do About It

By Donovan Grant

Have you ever wondered why do some children thrive while others fail?  Do you have a child?  If you do, or even if you care about the next generation then today’s message is especially for you.

The thing is- too many well-meaning parents and guardians advise their children to ‘play it safe’ with career choices. They say “stick with what we know”. Some will also put their own success down to the fact that they didn’t take many risks. This way of thinking has its merits; however it could have an harmful impact on our children, if they grow up believing that taking risks is bad.

Suppose your daughter’s dreams lead her to a future that could mean years of struggle, worry and then massive success. You have a choice; nurture or neglect. You could choose to protect her and warn her off her from an early age. Another option is that you can build her up with emotional support so that she can ride the storms and grow stronger.

What follows are five unintended mistakes parents make that could limit your child’s future success and how to fix them.

Mistake #1: – Not Asking Your Child What Is Their Dream

When we encourage our young ones to dream, we help them to invest into their future. This gives them a feel for who they can become. For a parent, it’s so comforting to hear the voices of our children speaking of the great things they are going to be and do in their lives.

We can keep these dreams alive by taking time to listen to the vision. When we sit and read books related to these topics the bond and passion for them comes one step closer.

The finishing touch is when the child writes about their ideas and even draws or cut pictures out of a magazine to create a kind of vision board. These words and images could become a blueprint for their future success!

Mistake #2: – Being Judgemental About Their Dream

Everything that a parent says may be used against them! We all know that we need to take care to what we say around our children, but we don’t always act on what we know. While growing up children are like sponges and take on board everything that they hear whether good or bad.  So any feedback from people in positions of power including parents, teachers or mentors can lift up or put down a child.

It is good to prepare them for the setbacks that will come at times. But let’s keep the unhelpful comments to ourselves and offer support, belief and praise in the right place and the right time for our kids.

Mistake #3: – Not Helping Them To Stay On Track

Your child needs to know that they are not alone. They may seek freedom and responsibility, but deep down they like to see that you are there at arm’s length especially when the going gets tough. Just having your loving presence will give them the confidence they need to stay on track.

It is good for them to find that some days they just can’t win and everything seems to be going against them. These are the character building days when the right word or an arm around the shoulder is the ideal remedy to combat the tears. When we come from a place of empathy and understanding, our job is done.  

Mistake #4: – Not believing in them

I’m reminded of a year ago when the French teacher gave us the bottom line “Her target grade for French is a D or possibly a C”. I looked the teacher in the eye and said, is that the best that she can expect? He said “yes, I am afraid that she has left it a bit too late to catch up”.

On the journey in the car on the way home, my wife and I chatted with our daughter about how people can shatter your beliefs. Admittedly, French was a challenge for her, but she felt with some effort she could get a B in the exam.

Over the next couple of months my daughter revised and practiced her French diligently. I used all the language skills that I could remember from my school days- many years ago! She passed French with an A grade!

Remember this – when you think you know better than others, in regards to your children, never give up on your gut feelings. Even if it means taking on teachers, doctors and a whole school system…parents know their kids better than anyone else can. Never giving up on helping your child pursue their dream.

Mistake #5: – Not Celebrating The Small Victories

Let’s celebrate! Every small landmark that your child reaches deserves to be noted and celebrated. It is ok to set a new goal to keep moving forward, but they do need to have a pause just to allow their self-esteem to get a boost. It’s marvellous to wait for just the big goals to be hit before they celebrate, but they need to have fun along the way. Enjoy the satisfaction of asking “how will you celebrate reaching your goal?”

I’ve been a parent for over 21 years and I’m guilty of every one of the mistakes listed. So don’t worry- it happens to all of us. With a few fixes mentioned above, your child could become the success they were born to be.

Donovan Grant is a coach, mentor, blogger, speaker and IT professional who brings his wisdom of parenting for the last 21 years and coaching clients through the stages of raising youth and empowering leaders with life lessons that are changing generations.  He is a passionate and committed leader who believes that we all have the ability to help to change someone else’s life. Actively doing so as a catalyst for many years he teaches how to live a life of success, balance, integrity and fun, whether at work or at play. www.donovangrant.com



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