At the time of releasing the episode, HR Coffee Time has now been listened to by more than, 30,000 people across the world. A number that absolutely blows my mind and I could never have imagined when I first sat down to get started with it.
After overthinking what to cover on this 100th episode, I finally settled on the idea of sharing three lessons that I've learnt from creating all of these episodes.
I think they're lessons that can apply to all of us no matter what point we're at in our careers and no matter what job we have. So I hope that by sharing them with you, you are able to take something away from them too.
You'll notice that as I share the three lessons I've learnt that I mention several HR Coffee Time episodes.
In case you're interested in listening to any of the episodes that I mention, I'll make sure that I pop links to them in the show notes for you. So you can hop back and listen to them after you've finished listening to this episode, if you'd like to.
The first lesson I've learned is that you can make time for what matters, even if you think you can't.
Before starting HR Coffee Time, I'd tried a few other things. I'd created a blog, I'd created some videos. I'd created an email newsletter - well I still have the email newsletter, but I only started getting consistent with sending it out once I had the podcast and I wanted to share news of the podcast with everyone every week.
Before that I found it really hard to stick to producing any of these things consistently. Work and life were always busy, and there always seemed to be something more important or more pressing and urgent that I had to get done. So I was a bit nervous about starting the podcast because I wondered how on earth I was going to manage to release a new episode every week, and it turned out I was right to be nervous because it's actually ended up being a lot more work than I had thought it would be.
I'm not sure that I ever would've started it if I'd realised. One person had reassured me, telling me just how quickly they were able to create their podcast. So I sat there thinking, oh, fantastic, it sounds like it only really takes an hour or two. Oh, how naive I was. I probably spend between one and two days a week on the podcast, getting all the research done, getting it planned, getting it recorded, getting it edited, publishing it.
But anyway, nevermind. I'm going completely off track. The point is that, I'm so pleased that I have stuck with it because it's ended up being one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. Whenever I have a message from a listener to say that an episode has helped them with their career, it is just such a wonderful feeling.
I have missed the occasional week. I take two weeks off from the podcast over Christmas each year. It's always nice to have a little break around then, and there was one week in the first year of the podcast where I was on holiday and I just didn't manage to get an episode out. I think apart from those times, I have managed to stay on track with releasing a weekly episode.
There might be one other week I've forgotten about, but I think that's all of them. It took me roughly two years before I finally made the leap from thinking about having a podcast to actually starting the podcast. So I would love to encourage you to take the leap and get started on something big that you've been holding yourself back from.
If you are worried about being able to make time for it. Just like I was worried and I still do worry. It isn't the easiest thing in the world, but. It is completely achievable and some of the things that have really helped me are things like creating my own personal board of people to turn to for advice for the podcast if I'm feeling stuck with it.
And a personal board really is just a fancy way of saying that I have a group of people whose feedback and opinions and advice I really value and appreciate. If you'd like to learn more about the idea of a personal board, it's something I talk about in detail in episode 90 of the podcast, which is how a personal board can help solve your challenges at work.
But probably, well, in fact, definitely the biggest thing that has helped me to stay on track with this weekly podcast is building accountability in. If you've been listening to HR Coffee Time for a while, you'll know that I'm someone who needs a deadline, and it really helps me if I have other people relying on me to achieve my big goals.
Now, there's nothing more public when it comes to accountability than what Apple Podcasts has because Apple Podcasts provides accountability because it publishes the dates that each episode is released. So you would know if I skip a podcast or if I'm late releasing it because it shows in the timestamp.
So that's one little bit of accountability that's helped me. And another thing that's really helped me is actually having a weekly podcast accountability session with my friend and fellow coach and podcaster, Jacqui Jagger. Jacqui has been a guest on the show before as well. The episode we recorded together was episode 29, Making a success of your promotion to a leadership role.
Jacqui and I for our accountability session, we meet over Zoom for an hour every Wednesday, and we both in that time just focus on podcast related stuff that we need to get done. It is so helpful to have one hour blocked out that no one else can book over. Just so that it keeps me on track. It's helped me become so much more organized about things like getting the guest questions to them in plenty of time instead of frantically sending them the questions I'm going to be asking them at the last minute, which wasn't fair at all, and which used to happen in the early days, but thankfully doesn't happen anymore.
And just helps me plan out my schedule and put a lot more structure in place. Basically, all the little things that have to be happening for the podcast to keep on running smoothly. So I'm really grateful for having Jacqui to have those accountability sessions with me. And to figure out if accountability will help you to achieve your goals and stay on track with them, or if there's a different time management technique that would be better for you
then there are a few episodes that I can suggest that might be helpful. Episode 89, which is called How to Reach Your HR Career Goals by Understanding Your Tendency, could be a fantastic episode for you to listen to next. It explained Gretchen Rubin's fantastic Four Tendencies framework, and it was from taking her quiz, which is called the Four Tendencies, that I learned how powerful accountability can be for someone with my tendency, which is Obliger.
If you're thinking, what on earth are you talking about, Fay, what's an Obliger? What are tendencies? Then please do, once you've finished listening to this episode, hop back and have a listen to episode 89. I hope that you'll really enjoy it. It's one of the favourite frameworks that I've probably come across. But some other episodes that might be helpful are episode 92, Time management tips to stay on top of your busy day with Louisa van Vessem, episode 67, How to get on top of email overwhelm when you are in a busy HR role. I know that's something so many people struggle with and I can struggle with as well. So many of these episodes when I'm giving advice, often it's advice for myself really as well.
Episode 45, 6 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Find Time for important Projects at Work. I'm not actually sure that I chose the best title for this episode. That's one of the things I can really overthink and spend ages doing is picking the titles. My aim was actually with that episode, it was to help you get to important projects, even when you're swamped with other things to do.
And then finally, episode seven, one of my very earliest episodes was called, What To Do When You Don't Have Enough Hours In the Day.
So if being incredibly busy is a challenge for you, if that is a big goal or a big project or something that you really want to get started with, but you've just not quite managed to find the time for it yet, then I hope those episodes are going to help.
The second lesson I've learned from making all these 100 episodes is how much more of an impact you can have if you aim for progress over perfection.
I'm much slower than a lot of other podcasters at creating each episode because perfectionism can really slow me down. I spend too long worrying about whether what I'm sharing is going to be a good enough quality, whether it's going to really help you, whether you're going to really enjoy it. If it wasn't for the Friday deadline that I have to get each episode out by, I'm sure that I would spend so much longer on each episode and there is absolutely no way that I would have been able to release a hundred episodes.
It does mean I can feel worried sometimes if I release an episode and then think of all the ways it could have been better if I'd had longer. But having the weekly deadline has forced me to ease up on my perfectionist thinking. Which in turn has hugely helped me make progress with other things, including my HR Planner.
So not only has this idea of progress over perfection helped me with the podcast and being consistent with it, it's actually helped me make progress with my work in other ways as well that I hadn't anticipated happening at all. And this is particularly true when it comes to my HR planner. Hopefully you already have a copy of the free P D F version of my HR Planner, or you might even have the hardback version.
If you don't have a copy of the free P D F, I'll make sure I put a link to it in the show notes for you, or you can always find it and access it by visiting my website, BrightSky Career Coaching, and going to the HR Planner page. The HR Planner is a resource that I create for the HR and People community every year.
There has been one for:
I try and make sure that I improve it every year. Adding things in or making changes to make sure it's as helpful for you as possible. And I use the HR Planner myself. I've got my own hardback version of it to help keep myself on track with my own goals and development each year. I think it's really important that I'm using it too, so, I can see whether there are any areas that can be developed. And I'm also always very open to feedback.
So if you're listening to this right now and you've been using your planner and you think, oh actually Fay, I have an idea about how you could make it even better, please do let me know. I absolutely love having feedback like that. It's incredibly helpful.
And because I know so many people who use my HR Planner also listen to HR Coffee Time, this podcast is an ideal place for me to share ideas that I might be able to incorporate into next year's HR Planner that I hadn't put in to the current one.
And it was when I realised at the end of the first quarter of this year that I suddenly thought, oh, do you know what? It would be really helpful to create a quarterly review template to use in next year's HR Planner. It meant that when I realised that I didn't have to wait a whole year before I could share it with you, I didn't have to spend a whole year finessing it and thinking about it and worrying about it.
I was able to share my initial thoughts about it on the podcast. If I'd waited until I was crystal clear in my thinking and had a beautiful template laid out, I just wouldn't have made as much progress or as fast progress with the idea as I was able to. And if you'd like to hear about the quarterly review idea, and there is actually a template, but you can just draw it out for yourself at the moment.
There'll be a nice looking one in the planner for next year, but at the moment, it's a really simple one that you can just draw in a notebook, then have a listen to episode 80, how quarterly reviews can help you thrive in your HR career. I had some really lovely feedback on the episode, some really positive feedback, which has made me decide to definitely add in a quarterly review section to next year's HR planner.
And episode 85, 6 questions to prioritize what matters for your HR or People career came about when I was then wondering, having done the quarterly review idea, whether I should actually include a six month review section in the planner as well. Now, I'm not sure I am going to include a six month review section in next year's planner. But I have realised how helpful the questions that I shared in that episode. So that whole episode was inspired by the idea of having a six month review, and I shared some questions that you can ask yourself to figure out, okay, where am I now that I'm halfway through the year? Where do I really want to get to? So those questions that I shared can actually be used in a whole range of ways that I hadn't anticipated.
But if I hadn't made the episode, I wouldn't have come up with them or I wouldn't have found them. I can't say I invented all those questions because I didn't. And if you listened to the episode, you'll hear where some of them come from. I've actually gone on to use some of those questions in my Inspiring HR group programme, to help everyone in the programme think through what they want for their next steps for their careers once they've finished being part of the group, once they've finished Inspiring HR.
So I've only shared them once so far with the last cohort, and again, I had such wonderful feedback. I could really see it helped make that final session with them more powerful. And releasing the episode not only helped me with Inspiring HR, it then gave me the idea of creating a new workshop, which ended up evolving through a couple of different ideas until it became the Boost Your HR Career Workshop.
And I ran that for the first time a little earlier this year. It's funny to think that none of those things would've happened if I didn't have the pressure of creating a new podcast episode every week, and I wasn't constantly thinking about the HR Planner.
If you're like me and you can find it hard to embrace progress over perfection and you find yourself moving forwards very, very slowly, not only might knowing your tendency help so you can build in strategies to keep you on track and to kickstart you into going.
Not only can the time management tips help that are mentioned in the other episodes that I've already talked to you through today. But a big thing that can help is practicing self-compassion as well. That can be very powerful. And self-compassion is something that Tom Cleary covers brilliantly in episode 43 of the podcast, which is called, The one thing that will boost your resilience throughout your HR career.
I will be forever grateful to Tom for introducing me to the concept of self-compassion and showing me how important it is. His episode is probably the one that has had the biggest impact on me personally, out of all of the guest episodes that there have been so far. I'm always making the episodes with you in mind, so how it's going to help you.
But having Tom on the show and learning about self-compassion has helped me to be a lot kinder to myself, if I don't feel I'm achieving as much as I'd like to, or I'm being hard on myself for things not being as perfect as possible. If perfectionism can hold you back, I really hope that listening to the episode with Tom will help you as much as it helped me.
That brings us to the third and final lesson that I wanted to share with you today, and that is that people are wonderful and happy to help. It is always worth asking for help or letting people at least know what it is that you are up to, where it is that you are in your career, what kind of things that you are working on, and what kind of support you'd benefit from. Now, this ties in with what I said earlier at the beginning of today's episode, when I was talking about the first lesson and having a personal board. I've always believed that the majority of people are good hearted. Having the podcast has really proved that this is true beyond what I had even realised.
You'll know because of my experience as a career coach and episodes that I've created in the past, how powerful I think your network can be. I always talk about the power of your network when I come across someone who's looking for a new job, or I'm coaching someone around career change because so many of the best jobs and the best opportunities materialize after speaking to people in your network to explain what kind of role you're looking for.
Having HR Coffee Time has made me realize this is true definitely not just when you're looking for a new role or a career change, it can help you with all aspects of your career. And having the podcast has forced me to really expand my network, especially when it comes to finding guests for the show.
It has been incredible to meet so many people and to have had their support. So far, only two people, I think, who I've approached to ask if they'd like to be a guest on the show have ever said no. And of course that's absolutely fine. I totally understand that it's not going to be right for everybody. I feel especially grateful to the first two authors that I approached.
If you've been listening for a while, you'll know I'm a big reader. I love books, I really admire authors. So for some reason it felt particularly nerve wracking approaching authors who had these bestseller books that were doing brilliantly, who I had never spoken to and had no idea who I was. And the podcast was fairly new, so not many people knew about it. And those two authors were Kim Arnold, who appeared on episode 32, which was called How to write work emails that get results. And actually she came back on again recently, which was lovely. And the second author was called Niamh O'Keefe, who appeared on episode 37, the first 100 days Plan to succeed in your new HR leadership role.
Even though I was ridiculously nervous about approaching them both and had half convinced myself that they'd say 'no', they actually turned out to both be lovely and more than happy to come on the show. Having had them say 'yes' then gave me more confidence in inviting other people I'd never met before onto the podcast, and now I'm in this weird position where I'm inundated with requests from experts and authors to come on the podcast. Again, something I never imagined would happen. So I'd love to encourage you to think about how you can nurture and build your own network as well. I promise it will help your career in ways that you can't imagine at the moment.
As well as the episode about having a personal board, there are several other episodes about networking for you to choose from. They are episode 11, Networking, the three most important networks for your career. Episode 15, How networking can help your career, and episode 16, How to become more confident about networking.
While we're on the topic of how wonderful people are and how supportive they are and how happy they are to help, it seems like the perfect opportunity for me to wrap up this episode with a huge thank you to you for being one of the many people who has been so wonderful and been so supportive by listening to the show each week. And an extra big thank you if you've ever rated and reviewed the show for me on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
All of those ratings and reviews have made a massive difference in encouraging the podcast players to recommend the podcast to people who haven't heard of it before. And also a thank you if you've ever got in touch to let me know that you are enjoying listening to HR Coffee Time, or to suggest a topic for me to cover.
It always means the world to me when any of these things happen.
Have a great week and I'm looking forward to creating the next 100 episodes for you.