As the Women in Media Relaunch Project heads into the second half of the program, we have had the opportunity to pause and look at some of the incredible speakers we’ve heard from so far. Often the workshop days are so busy and jam-packed with wonderful advice, tips, and words of encouragement, that it’s not until after the sessions that the cohort has a chance to absorb the knowledge and embrace what has been shared.
We asked some of the women to share with us the moments that really touched them and offered them a new way of thinking.
What idea or notion from the Relaunch Project has resonated most with you so far?
The idea that has resonated most with me came about in the first session, when Professor Keitha Dunstan told us it’s a fallacy to think there was one perfect path to follow to reach the opportunities we seek.
That notion has been reinforced each session since then, through the diverse range of speakers who offer different ways of thinking about the work of storytelling. Not just the storytelling we do in our work for the media, but also in terms of the stories we tell about ourselves.
As Professor Dunstan pointed out, there are many potential pathways and we should consider all options.
The Relaunch Project is providing a good grounding in the flexible thinking needed for a successful media career in 2023 and beyond.
During Dr Paul Callaghan’s Relaunch talk I wrote down one of his comments – “You need to have trust in yourself and where you’re going” – and I’ve thought about it ever since. A running theme in my life, and it seems for a lot of the Relaunch women this year too, is to worry about my work. Am I doing enough? Is my talent and experience enough? Am I good enough?
I think as women we naturally have imposter syndrome and never find ourselves ‘enough’ for many career opportunities, even when we are over-qualified. And, it seems, it’s a running theme with many of the female speakers also mentioning they’ve felt this way. It’s reassuring to know this is normal, but also inspiring to hear these successful career women (and men) just get on with it and back themselves anyway. Even though I’m unsure about where I am going with my work, I find myself re-reading Dr Callaghan’s words and just trusting the process, that everything will be OK.
Sandra (Toni) Moon
Finding my own voice, and confidently taking up space, is what has resonated the most with me. "Be the real you and be fearless," said Dr Paul Callaghan, who emphasised the importance of trusting your gut instinct. As did Laura Chalmers who said: "Be confident in your skills – be bloody confident”. Jacinta Tynan said ”have no limitations” and "there’s always someone who can benefit from what you know”.
Professor Keitha Dunstan told the 2023 group to think of the term ‘relaunch’ as a ‘transition’. That helped me re-frame my attitude to my career and my journey to find where I fit in ‘media land’. Ms Dunstan’s words to the group that we are ‘stronger for having the break’ made me realise I can engage in my career confidently. And should! I can etch out a place for myself — a place where I can be me and create the flexibility I need.
I’m stronger and am embracing becoming fearless thanks to Relaunch.
What have you heard or learnt during the workshops that has helped you see your career differently?
The Relaunch Project workshops have been fantastic. Every week, people I respect, admire, and am inspired by, generously share their wisdom, and pass on practical tips, empowering me to look at my career with fresh perspective and positivity. Many of the speakers have talked about the importance of marketing and creating a brand, and I understand now not only why that’s important, but how to achieve it. I’ve also been reminded that I can be proactive in choosing pathways and steering my career. The workshops have helped me face my fears and understand them, and to also appreciate my strengths. I feel like I know what I need to do now.
The biggest thing I’ve learnt is to take these new perspectives on offer. It’s about smashing the semantics of a system that doesn’t serve, and has never truly served, women. The real ‘magic sauce’ is the cohort itself - made up of fiercely intelligent, understated women. Something special happens when a powerful group of smart, funny and kind females come together. It’s definitely why covens were feared in the Dark Ages. But today in the evolving murkiness (of what it means being a woman in our industry) I’ve felt the relaunching magic of these women, bubbling up amongst our wise words shared.
Relaunch has been an interesting way for me to get learn about how to set boundaries in the
workplace, and to not be afraid to step outside my comfort zone. One of our first speakers was Keitha Dunstan from Bond University. Keitha has an impressive career, but what stood out to me was how she managed to pave her own successful career while also being a great mum. Her presentation resonated with me from the get-go as I tackle the challenges of becoming a first-time mum while also trying to carve out my own career in the communications space, returning to work full-time.
I’ve also enjoyed learning about how to be more confident when using social media sites such as
LinkedIn to engage in conversations with industry professionals. I used to see LinkedIn as a site where people went to find jobs, but it’s so much more than that. It’s about collaboration, connecting with like-minded industry professionals, and learning from others.
About the Relaunch Project
The Women in Media Relaunch Project, with the support of Google News Initiative, is a powerful return-to-work program for female media professionals who have made the decision to relaunch their careers after a break. The program aims to empower participants through one-on-one mentoring and workshops on topics including leadership, industry innovation, new technology and personal development.