career development

3 baby steps to create a great workplace for yourself


Christina SmerdonNov 12, 2018

Do you love your job? Do you like the way you work? Do you have the ability to manage your work and life commitments?

If you answered yes to that, I celebrate you and the actions you have taken to get there. You and I both know that all of the pieces of the puzzle of lifethe pieces in our life puzzle didn’t just fall into place magically. You made decisions and you took actions, maybe even faceding a few risks along the way.

But if you are like most people and answered no, then I would like to challenge you to make a change.

Not the ‘I’m going on a diet so I will only eat cabbage for six weeks’ type of change.

I’m talking about taking ‘small non-threatening baby steps every day’ kind of change that will have you looking back in six months and wondering how on earth you did what you are doing now?!

Step 1. What Identify what you desire do you want?

Have a think about, and then write down exactly what you want from your paid work. Be really specific here. What needs to change might be really small or really big. Your wish list might include something like:

  • A 9 day fortnight so I can spend one day a fortnight honing my writing skills for the book I’ve always wanted to write
  • Start work at 9.30am instead of 9am so that I can take my kids to school
  • Have a workplace mentor / sponsor so that I can progress my career
  • Be paid the same as my male colleagues or be paid what I am worth

This is not meant to be your perfect life list, just keep the focus on work.

Step 2. Identify who offers it?

These days most people start job hunting by using a generalist job listing site. If you are lucky, you may find a job listing in your field that has a line hidden somewhere in the job description about it being a great place to work.

There are thousands of organisations out there – big, small and in-between. Finding the time to research all of them… really, who has time for that!

I propose that we turn the process upside down and start by finding companies that have put in the time, resources and commitment because they want to attract YOU – the top talent.

There are employers who really do walk their talk, and they are being certified independently so that you can trust that they do what they say they do.

Click on a company logo on the Employers page to identify the support WORK180's Endorsed Employers for Women offer. Each employer has given their answers to a list of criteria to help you find a workplace with the support you are looking for.

Step 3. Write down what you have to offer

Yes, that means your resume!

Everyone needs one, and most people have an outdated, non-current version. I’m not sure there is a person on the planet who loves resume writing (okay maybe …. We know Amanda from Career Swag does :))

Think of your resume as your golden ticket to get yourself in front of a potential employer. Every resume will be different and every resume needs to be just as polished as you are.

I challenge you to dust off your resume, or open your resume file on your computer and spend 15 minutes every week adding something new or updating something on it. Chunk this down into small pieces and expect it to take a couple of months to be polished.

For most people, talking about themselves is tough. But talking about how great you are and your key achievements is ‘off the charts’ tough for most people.

By breaking this task down into small pieces it can reduce the level of fear that ‘doing my resume’ brings up in people.

Instead of spending the next six months complaining being frustrated about what isn’t working so well with your job work, invest the next six months in making small, incremental changes that will add up to something amazing at the end.


About the author

Christina Smerdon

Chief Flex Enabler at WORK180


WORK180 is a jobs board with a difference! We pre-screen employers on paid-parent leave, pay equity, flexible working arrangements and more. Find your dream job here.


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