TOP PICKS

5 Steps to Ace your Performance Review

The formality of a performance review can be a high pressure and stressful experience.  But if you treat it as an opportunity to sell yourself and illustrate why you should be given a pay rise or promotion; it can be your stage to elevate your career potential.  Not taking it seriously can be potentially permanently […]

Read More

How to tell if you are ready to take the next step in your career

The journey we find ourselves on in our career is determined by many different factors.  Some, as recent history shows, are out of our control.  But you CAN control plenty.  Sometimes we reach a crossroads in life/career when we must make a choice about whether to look elsewhere or upwards in the same company and […]

Read More

How to Stay Visible When Working From Home

It may be tempting to use the fact that you’re working from home as the perfect get out, to hide, and perhaps to release any pressure or expectation that would normally be present when working in the office. However, if you sink into the background you WILL come to regret it. The power of visibility […]

Read More

The Secret to Leveling up your Leadership

Working with women at senior levels is such an exciting thing to do because bigger challenges equal bigger potential for results! Most of us learn best when hearing about real experiences, so I thought I’d share with you a case study in leveling up your leadership based on a fantastic woman I’ve worked with recently. […]

Read More

Hello there

Hello I’m Sinead Sharkey-Steenson and welcome to my blog! I’ve been working with leaders to develop their strategies for over a decade. In the last few years I’ve chosen to focus on women’s career strategies because I’m passionate about helping women succeed, and I would love to see you be the best you can be. Here you’ll find articles on topics that will help you get the most out of your career, from imposter syndrome to doing a great interview. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments, and if there’s a topic you want help with, please leave a comment.

POST INDEX

5 Steps to Ace your Performance Review

The formality of a performance review can be a high pressure and stressful experience.  But if you treat it as an opportunity to sell yourself and illustrate why you should be given a pay rise or promotion; it can be your stage to elevate your career potential.  Not taking it seriously can be potentially permanently […]

Read More

How to tell if you are ready to take the next step in your career

The journey we find ourselves on in our career is determined by many different factors.  Some, as recent history shows, are out of our control.  But you CAN control plenty.  Sometimes we reach a crossroads in life/career when we must make a choice about whether to look elsewhere or upwards in the same company and […]

Read More

How to use the Christmas break to reflect, and plan your next career move

So the decorations are up, the shopping is done (maybe not, but you know you’ll feel better when it is!), and the wind down is on for you to hopefully get a break for a week or longer from what has been a strange and challenging year at work (and in life). Now, I know […]

Read More

How to Stay Visible When Working From Home

It may be tempting to use the fact that you’re working from home as the perfect get out, to hide, and perhaps to release any pressure or expectation that would normally be present when working in the office. However, if you sink into the background you WILL come to regret it. The power of visibility […]

Read More

The Secret to Leveling up your Leadership

Working with women at senior levels is such an exciting thing to do because bigger challenges equal bigger potential for results! Most of us learn best when hearing about real experiences, so I thought I’d share with you a case study in leveling up your leadership based on a fantastic woman I’ve worked with recently. […]

Read More

7 Questions to ask a Career Coach

In the past 4 years I have directly coached approximately 350 women. I could have worked with more if I’d had less scruples but sometimes its just not the right fit. I have had some difficult conversations with potential clients when it’s been ME who has been the one to point out that I wasn’t […]

Read More

Gaslighting at work : How to spot it and How to STOP it

Coronation Street is did a story in 2020 on gaslighting. It may be something you’ve become more familiar with in domestic abuse. But did you know it’s really common at work? A twitter poll of 3,033 people revealed that 58% of respondents between 18 and 54 have experienced it in the U.K. workplace. That may […]

Read More

6 Ways to Manage Your Career in A Crisis

I’m one of those people that’s great in a crisis. It’s like my brain loves the adrenaline and quickly formulates a plan of action, and off I go to make it happen. Obviously it’s a useful trait to have, but it has got me in trouble a few times. One of the most memorable ones […]

Read More

3 Ways to Accelerate your Career for the New Decade

So here we are. A new decade. In real terms it doesn’t mean very much, after all, it’s just a date.  But like big birthdays, a new decade can be a signpost to evaluate where you are and where you want to be.  Everyone wants to be further on in their career than they were […]

Read More

Want to Gain Confidence in the Workplace? BE BOLD!

‘Sinead, do you not have a question? Or does it take 10 rum and cokes for you to open your mouth?’ These words were said to me by a company director, from the stage, in front of 250 of my peers. Those of you who have seen me speak will probably assume that I am […]

Read More

When is it right to invest in yourself and Rise and Shine?

Because You’re Worth It… L’Oréal are right, you are worth it!  Yet we women are so busy putting ourselves to the back of the queue when it comes to investing in us. Whether it’s time or money, we become well-trained in putting ourselves last. It’s a big part of the confidence conundrum…am I worth it? […]

Read More

Rise and Shine Graduation 2019 – Could your career use a shine?

Thursday 28th November 2019 saw the annual Rise and Shine Graduation. Almost 50 amazing women have completed the programme this year and we got together to celebrate their achievements and hear their stories. I was so proud to give these amazing women a platform. The main highlight was the panel of 7 graduates who very […]

Read More

50 Inspirational Quotes to help you Rise and Shine

We have a rich history of women whose inspirational quotes can motivate, inspire and encourage you to be the best version of yourself.  I thought I would share some of my favourites!  Here are 50 Inspirational Quotes to help you Elevate your Career (and life in general!) “The difference between successful people and others is how […]

Read More

10 Tips and Tools to Help you Work Smarter

Have you noticed how big a badge of honour being busy is?  How many times have you responded to the question ‘how are you?’ With ‘oh I’m really busy but god/ not so bad/ can’t complain’ (I’ll deal with the rest of the response another day). Maybe it’s time to put down your busy badge […]

Read More

How to turn negative language into positive with ease

The importance of positive language to your personal brand in your career (and your life overall) is often overlooked.  This is because we tend to speak without thinking, its almost unnatural for us as humans to take stock of what we are going to say before we say it.  But you MUST take the time […]

Read More

Why working hard might be a waste of your time

Did you arrive an hour early today? Did you stay late yesterday? Perhaps you finished the project that you were working on last week when it was due at the end of the month.  Congratulations.  Well done!  Unfortunately, all this hard work and effort might be a monumental waste of time in your goal of […]

Read More

6 Stepping stones to staying motivated

We all have bad days. It’s a fact. But when you feel like you are being engulfed by a giant dark cloud of de-motivation, it can be draining as it not only effects your career but it can have a serious impact on your mental health. It’s time to take some stepping stones to staying […]

Read More

10 Ways to Improve Your Listening Skills

Listening effectively is one of the most important skills we can have in our lives. It really is the key to better relationships in all areas of your life, from personal to your career. Think about those that you already have a great relationship with. I can guarantee that these people listen to you intently […]

Read More

What should you do if you experience sexual harassment at work?

Guest Blogger – Jamie Costello In a work environment, you should feel supported and confident to be able to complete your work and excel with your career ambitions. Unfortunately, there can be instances in the workplace where unpleasant behaviour such as sexual harassment can take place. If you happen to experience it, it can have […]

Read More

How Businesses should handle Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Guest Blogger – Jamie Costello We spend an average of around 35 working hours in the workplace and to think that we could spend them hours terrified of being sexually harassed is worrying. It can be physically and mentally detrimental to one that experiences sexual harassment and financially it can be significant for employers. Furthermore, […]

Read More

How a career coach can Elevate your Career

I have spent the past few years helping women be the best version of themselves. I share the occasional success story but to be honest I could share one daily.  The result of effective career coaching is a new job, promotion or increase in confidence.  This recognizable success and the part that I played in […]

Read More

Job Interview Confidence – 7 Ways to stay in Control

Falling to pieces in a job interview is something that I have experienced and witnessed from the other side of the table.  And whichever side you are on it really isn’t pleasant.  There is nothing more devastating than knowing you are good enough for the job but leaving the room having portrayed yourself as nervous, […]

Read More

Stop Excluding – How to Foster a Culture of Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion is a hot news topic and under the microscope for many organisations.  As with any of these things, it can become a case of ticking boxes rather than looking at what really needs to change – and that’s the culture of an organisation…and society! We all have a moral duty to create […]

Read More

5 Ways to Increase your Visibility in the Workplace

Invisibility as a super power might seem fun for a while.  But it would certainly grow tiresome if it was permanent.  Many people feel that this is exactly what is happening to them.  A cloak of invisibility that you didn’t ask for being draped over your shoulders every time you enter the building.  Your ideas […]

Read More

10 ways to Manage Imposter Syndrome

“I still have a little [bit of] imposter syndrome, it never goes away, that you’re actually listening to me.  It doesn’t go away, that feeling that you shouldn’t take me that seriously.” Michelle Obama I am pretty sure many people were shocked to hear Michelle Obama say that she still suffers from Imposter Syndrome.  It […]

Read More

Identifying Your Values Will Help You Set Effective Goals for 2019

New Year is traditionally a time for reflection and goal setting.  I love the thought that a new year is like a new book, 12 new chapters and 365 blank pages, all waiting to be written.  How do you plan to fill yours? Are you thinking of how to change career? If I can give […]

Read More

Want to Grow Further in 2019: Take Time to Review Your Year

Want to Grow Further in 2019: Take Time to Review Your Year December can be a time when we go into reflective mode. The year is ending, a new year close to beginning, and you might be starting to ponder.  Have I achieved what I set out to when I started 2018 with dreams and […]

Read More

Creating your Vision for a Great 2019

Are you happy with where you are in your career? The average person works 92,120 hours over their lifetime.  That’s a lot of hours to spend unhappy isn’t it?!  Even if it’s only 1 year where you’re not loving work, it’s almost 1,800 hours.  What if you could take control and make it a happy […]

Read More

The Sky’s the Limit when you Rise and Shine!

An Emotional Evening Two weeks ago I got to bed exhausted, and sobbed uncontrollably. It was some of the most heartfelt crying I can remember. I’m glad to say they were tears of joy, of relief, and probably pride. So what had happened on that day, the 18th of October to leave me in this […]

Read More

Asking for a Pay Rise – A guide to getting paid what you are worth

I recently had a conversation with a friend who is flying high in her career.  She told me that she feels that no barriers have been put in her way because of her gender.  It was great to hear…..but then she admitted to being a shrinking violet when it came to asking for a pay […]

Read More

Meet the Generation Women team – Sinead Sharkey-Steenson

Who are you? My name is Sinead Sharkey-Steenson and I’m the founder of Generation Women.  I’m really excited to say that Generation Women is 2 this month and I feel so proud that our business which is supportive to women is thriving 2 years on.  The potential for the future keeps growing and growing! What […]

Read More

Why are women leaving your company?

“Why are women leaving your company?” is often answered with “Because they are taking a break from work to start a family”.  Those people are wrong.   Yes, some women do take time out from the careers from family life but the primary reason for the draining of female talent from organisations lies with companies themselves.  […]

Read More

Meet the Generation Women team – David Steenson

Who are you? My name is David Steenson. Director and Marketing Manager at Generation Women. I have a background in people management and business reporting. What brought you to join the Generation Women Team? As you might have guessed I’m married to the real brains behind this amazing company, Sinead. Spending over 20 years with […]

Read More

Why get a Career Coach?

Why get a career coach and what can they do for you? See the following Infographics for some of the problems we deal with and how we can help. For more information click here   […]

Read More

New to Personal Branding? Here’s What You Need to Know

We are all used to branding – its why we choose our favourite cereal every week rather than try something new.  We trust it, We believe in it’s quality and we have bought in to everything the cereal company is telling us about their product. Our beliefs in the product set it apart from all […]

Read More

3 Positive Impacts of Returnships

The rise of returnships programmes since 2014 is starting to have a positive impact on businesses and the economy.  At the moment we are only scratching the surface of the benefits that they can bring.  Pioneered by investment banks, they are mainly bringing skilled women back into the workforce after a career break. It really […]

Read More

5 Ways Men Can Be Better Allies To Women In The Workplace

By David Steenson   When women are challenging their treatment or how they are perceived, getting backing from male colleagues can go a long way to making change happen.  Now I know this isn’t necessarily what some women in particular want to hear. But the stark truth is that ANY change is easier to implement […]

Read More

Know Your Values to Boost Career Success: The First Step In Goal Setting

So, what are your values? If you are not happy with the way things are, a good place to start is by asking myself ‘what’s important to me now?‘.  This is how you start to understand your values – the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work. Your values should determine your priorities, […]

Read More

10 Gender Equality Myths Debunked

By David Steenson   One of the biggest issues those of us (men and women) who are concerned with Gender Equality face is the idea that our fears are “all in our heads”.  From that starting point it’s difficult to engage in any meaningful discussion or debate on the issue. Many of those who dismiss […]

Read More

6 Resources to help with Public Speaking

Even the mere mention of public speaking can bring many people out into a cold sweat.  Recent studies have suggested some of us think it is a fate worse than death.  In essence when I talk about public speaking do not mean standing up and giving a Ted Talk. I am referring to addressing a […]

Read More

5 Tips For Handling a Difficult Work Colleague

We spend 1,645 hours at work a year.  If you are having to deal with a difficult work colleague it can feel like twice that amount, and the effect that it can have on your health and well-being can be devastating.  We all have bad days, even bad weeks when WE can be the difficult […]

Read More

Why your beliefs matter more than you think

When it comes to our goals in the workplace, we tend to focus on how to do the right thing that will impress our boss, colleagues or wow our clients.  But the truth is in order to create an effective personal brand you need to focus on yourself just as much. Yes, how others see […]

Read More

5 ways to make sure you don’t get selected for interview

The sinking feeling you get when you submit an application then don’t get the interview is one of the worst feelings of rejection you can have.  You are amazing at what you do but you haven’t even been given the chance to show your potential employer that you are the right person for the job.  […]

Read More

Why helping your wife succeed can make you a better man

By David Steenson   It’s been a few months since I took the plunge and decided to divide my time between working for my entrepreneur wife with her coaching business and looking after my 2 daughters. It’s mostly glorious. Not without its challenges due to their young age (the children not my wife!). But it stands […]

Read More

How to Deal with Rejection:  Bouncing back when you don’t get the job

Job interview rejection is gutting.  It actually hurts.  And for good reason, social pain impacts the same parts of the brain as when processing physical hurt like a burn.  We all feel this pain differently, and you may know someone who always seems bounce back easily, no matter how big the rejection.  Why can’t you?  […]

Read More

5 Tips to Get Yourself in Pole Position for Promotion

This article is not intended for anyone with a sense of entitlement who thinks their company owes them a promotion. I’ve been there. As a young graduate I used to feel I’d done enough that surely my promotion on a plate was ready. At times I perhaps had a point, but mostly I was living […]

Read More

How to Prepare Awesome Answers for Your Job Interview

Clients regularly come to me for job interview tips because they don’t feel confident at interview.  I’ve seen everything from ‘I can’t talk about or sell myself’ to ‘I fall apart and completely lose all brain power’.  Let’s face it, job interviews are not the most natural of scenarios!  When you add the fact that […]

Read More

9 Ways to Stand Out on LinkedIn

9 Ways to Stand Out on LinkedIn One of my most popular programmes is my 1:1 personal brand makeover. It’s all about helping you understand what you want from your career and how to put it out there, either to get noticed where you are, or make a complete career change. Visibility is a crucial […]

Read More

Creating your Vision for a Great 2018

Are you happy with where you are in your career? The average person works 92, 120 hours over their lifetime.  That’s a lot of hours to spend unhappy isn’t it?!  Even if it’s only 1 year where you’re not loving work, it’s almost 1,800 hours.  What if you could take control and make it a […]

Read More

Would Knowing Your Purpose Help You In Your Career?

Would Knowing Your Purpose Help You In Your Career? Are you lacking career confidence? Have you got to the stage in your career where what you’re doing is just not cutting it for you any more? I hear it a lot. You don’t feel fulfilled, you’re not excited or challenged, you’re still performing but you KNOW […]

Read More

Identifying Your Values Will Help You Set Effective Goals for 2018

Identifying Your Values Will Help You Set Effective Goals for 2018 New Year is traditionally a time for reflection and goal setting.  I love the thought that a new year is like a new book, 12 new chapters and 365 blank pages, all waiting to be written.  How do you plan to fill yours? Are […]

Read More

Want to Grow Further in 2018: Take Time to Review Your Year

Want to Grow Further in 2018: Take Time to Review Your Year December can be a time when we go into reflective mode. The year is ending, a new year close to beginning, and you might be starting to ponder.  Have I achieved what I set out to when I started 2017 with dreams and […]

Read More

Forget Resolutions: To Be Successful in 2018, Focus on Your Habits

Forget Resolutions: To Be Successful in 2018, Focus on Your Habits Have you ever set yourself a New Year’s Resolution?  Or is your every Monday a groundhog day of broken promises to yourself? It’s interesting, as humans we are fantastic at creating bad habits.  Smoker, regular over-eater, sofa surfer, social-media addict, Netflix binge-watcher…the list goes […]

Read More

Being Schooled on Presenting:  How Becoming a Skilled Presenter can make your Career

Inspiration On Wednesday night, I was fortunate enough to be asked to judge a public speaking competition for the Belfast branch of Soroptimist International. Wow.  Talk about inspirational.  Each talk was convincing, well-researched, and impactfully delivered. Powerful Imagery Kristen opened the talks with a powerful speech that was rich in imagery, thought-provoking, and delivered with […]

Read More

From Cinderella to Career Success: 7 Ways to Stand out at Work

Have you ever felt like your career has stalled?  Or it’s chugging up the hill so slowly that you can barely feel it move? Do you ever ask yourself “What can I do to improve promotion prospects?” I often hear women saying ‘I should be further than this by now’.  I remember starting my first […]

Read More

3 Sure-fire Ways to Tame your Inner Imposter

The more I work with women, the more I encounter Imposter Syndrome. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s where you feel like a fraud and that you will be found out at any time.  It’s that feeling that you’re not worthy of your successes, that really you’re just lucky, so you end up working […]

Read More

The Motivation Myth – Why You’re Not Taking Action and How to Get Over It!

The Motivation Myth Have we been sold a myth about motivation at work?  Somehow in all the knowledge we’ve gained, there’s this permeating thought that in order to do something we must feel motivated.  Or that if we’re avoiding something, it’s that we lack motivation.  Well I’m calling bullshit. Motivation is quite simply ‘a force […]

Read More

9 Simple Strategies to Develop The Ultimate Career Super Power: A Growth Mindset

Are you a Perfectionist? Who here is a perfectionist? Who would like to have Career Super Powers? Have you ever not done something for fear you’ll be no good at it? I can certainly hold my hand up to this!  I won’t go bowling…I’m pretty sure I would hate it anyway (lol), but my initial […]

Read More

3 Simple Ways to Increase Your Influence

Big results, Minimal Effort – Increase your Influence at Work I love working with women on their ability to influence at work, it’s such an easy area to make big improvements with very little effort. When we have more influence at work, we get more done, are happier, and more successful!  This is one of […]

Read More

Isn’t it Time You Got Strategic About Your Personal Brand?

So What is Your Personal Brand? Your personal brand is your reputation. It is the size and quality of your network, the value you add, and the messages you send. It’s delivered in how you introduce yourself, your appearance and how you behave, the work you say yes and no to. It’s what you put […]

Read More

My Journey to Career and Leadership Coach

I felt it was high time to tell you a bit more about my story, and how my role as a career coach and Generation Women came about.  So here we go…Once upon a time there was a young girl… Ambition isn’t a dirty word I’ve always been ambitious.  It started out because my Dad […]

Read More

Your How to Guide for Acing Your Answers to Interview Questions

Your How to Guide for Acing Your Answers to Interview Questions These days interviews aren’t the theoretical things that they used to be.  The most challenging interview questions used to ask would be things like, ‘what would you do if…?’ That meant you could go and study a management textbook, regurgitate it back, and the […]

Read More

What’s Your Career Story – A key step in getting the Career of Your Dreams!

A quick piece of help for any of you looking at applying for your next big promotion or looking to make a change career… Whatever stage you are at in the process of looking for your dream job – whether just thinking about looking , through to preparing for the interview – I highly recommend doing […]

Read More

Looking for your Next Big Job? Focus on Marginal Gains

How to give a recruiter exactly what they’re looking for…Use their language! What Does Cycling Have to do with Getting the Job? One of the most successful sporting teams of the last few decades, is undoubtedly the British Cycling Team.  With their plethora of medals across the board at every major cycling event, they are […]

Read More

Worry Makes the World Go Round: How to get out of the worry trap!

Worry Makes the World Go Round: How to get out of the worry trap! I had a party at the weekend, which was a great opportunity to catch up with friends I had barely seen all year.  It’s after such events I wonder why I don’t see them more often, but life just has a […]

Read More