Do you have a passion for self-development?
While the road of life can sometimes be bumpy, scary and full of setbacks, focusing on self-development is a fantastic way to improve both your career and life in general. And better yet, being given the tools, structure and conversation opportunities to support that reflection can help you achieve your goals even sooner.
That’s exactly the kind of support team members at Megaport receive. As a global provider of critical networking services to connect people, enterprises and services around the world, the company needs their people to perform at their personal and professional best. Which is why it offers a multitude of professional development initiatives.
One example is by nominating team members to participate in the Women Rising Program – a holistic personal and professional development program that women around the world consistently call life changing.
We spoke with three women at Megaport to discover their experiences in the program, and the surprising lessons they learned along the way.
In this article, you’ll hear from:
- Kaytee Reid, Head of Talent Acquisition
- Melissa Scott, Senior Legal Counsel
- Mel Chad, Head of Business Partnering
According to Mel, there are eight self-paced modules in the course, spread over six months. The modules focus on developing people from both a personal and career perspective.
“You’re not only given the tools to work out your career goals, but your life goals too, helping you create the best version of yourself,” she said. “There are a lot of practical lessons to develop yourself in key areas such as confidence, leadership, executive presence and conflict resolution. You receive three weeks to work through each module – which are a mix of self-paced online learning and reflection, followed by two group coaching sessions. In these catch ups, you’re given the opportunity to share your thoughts and hear stories from other participants.”
And Melissa shares: “The video, audio, group sessions, readings and organizer-led webinars are well structured and easy to follow. The website platform is user-friendly and beautifully designed too.
“I enjoyed being able to pick and choose how I absorbed the knowledge in each module, depending on what was happening for me at work and in life, in any given week. I like the flexibility and on-demand availability of the content.”
So, what were Kaytee, Mel and Melissa’s key takeaways, and how can we apply them to our own lives and careers?
1. Carving out time to prioritize “you” takes conscious work and effort!
According to Kaytee, participating in the course encouraged her to truly take time out for herself and focus on the big picture.
“It’s really easy to let other things take priority or get in the way, but it’s important to invest in yourself, and give yourself the best opportunity to get everything you can out of this program. My recommendation for others who partake in the course, is to participate in the cohort sessions!”
For Melissa, the thing she valued most was having a flexible work environment that supported this type of self-reflection.
“In our team, we have an incredible level of work-life integration. We can mould our days around our life. As long as trust is present and you’re reaching the expected outcomes, you’ll be given a lot of freedom to design your time and work location to best suit your goals each week.”
And Mel agrees. “You have to set boundaries and prioritize yourself. Everyone thinks they’re too busy… but what are you too busy doing? Set aside some time every week to work through this program – it’s an investment in yourself.”
2. Think about the big picture
In work and life, it’s easy to get swept up in the day to day. But for these three participants, the Women Rising Program encouraged them to start thinking about the bigger picture.
“The initial session focused on purpose and your life vision,” said Kaytee. “For me, that’s been something that’s been on the backburner for the past few years. I’ve been in a transitional part of my life and just ‘going through the motions’. This session forced me to reignite what I’m passionate about, to prioritize my self-development and put some deep thought into what‘s important to me in my life going forward.”
“Prior to starting the Women Rising Program, I was at a bit of a crossroads with my career and wasn’t in a very happy place,” said Mel. “I felt I had already achieved everything in my career that I wanted – but I hadn’t thought about what was next. Completing the first module, about my life vision and purpose, helped me realize what brings me happiness at work, the areas I want to focus on in life, and gave me a clear path forward. I’m excited about what’s next and what I can achieve!
“Your career is a long journey that is made up of lots of curves and bumps along the way. Taking the time out every now and then to reflect can have a profound impact.”
Did you know Megaport supports its team members with community engagement initiatives, employee assistance programs, flexible work, professional development opportunities and more?
Find out more about Megaport’s benefits and policies
3. Connect with others and yourself… and be prepared to have the tough conversations
For Mel, the program encouraged her to ask some hard questions by spending time with herself. And in doing so, she gained a great deal of insight. In fact, many participants say they gained similar insights through the connections they formed in the program – including Kaytee.
“The group sessions were my favourite,” said Kaytee. “I enjoyed hearing about other women’s experiences. That is: how they’re applying what they’re learning and the impact it’s having on them. The program encourages you to ask yourself some tough questions. It forces you to be honest with yourself. It’s pushed me outside of my comfort zone in many ways. But there’s comfort being able to regroup every three weeks and have engaging, meaningful conversations with the women in my cohort.”
Melissa’s experience was similar: “I loved connecting with the other women in my cohort – in particular, our Cohort Leader, Maria. She was incredibly engaging and facilitated some wonderful discussion among the group.”
So, how can employees get support to participate in self-development initiatives?
Every employer is different – so if you’re interested in participating in self-development initiatives, like the Women Rising Program, start a conversation. You may find if you’re in an organization that has a flexible workplace culture and supportive leadership team, you can get the backing you need!
“Megaport’s flexible working environment allowed me to manage my time, ensure I could attend the sessions, and complete the course work,” said Kaytee. “Having been nominated to participate and Megaport fund the course, it just further demonstrates to me that the company supports my growth and development and is committed to investing in it.”
“Megaport had secured a few places on the program for women leaders in the business and my manager nominated me to attend,” said Mel. “It had been several years since I participated in any formal professional development, so I was really motivated to join the program!”
“Megaport generously paid for me to participate, and these funds were allocated from outside my personal learning and development budget,” said Melissa. “I was impressed by this level of financial support. My leader had no hesitation in recommending my involvement with the program.”
In sharing final thoughts, Melissa said:
“This program is well designed for emerging leaders in corporate settings. If you’re looking ahead and want to experience a leadership role, put up your hand and invest in yourself now! Back yourself and ask for the opportunity. You won’t regret it.”