How To Create The Next Chapter of Your WorkLife Story

Turning Points in Your Worklife Can Make You Come to Realise That Life Is Too Short Not to Be Living It Fully

Photo by Ivan Aleksic on Unsplash

There have been a few turning points in my life that have caused me to stop and think about what’s important to me and to consider what I want from my work and my life outside of work.

Sadly one of those occasions was when my brother, Kieran, died aged just 41. Kieran had lived very much in the present and enjoyed the simple things in life. I remember his wife, Christina telling me how in the summer, once their four girls were in bed, they’d sit in their garden and watch the sunset.

As well as bringing up four daughters, they also gave their time generously to support the families who had been impacted by the Chernobyl disaster, and every summer, they would have children from Chernobyl stay with them. It was important for them to give back or indeed give forward.

Thinking about my brother caused me to realise that I needed to live in the present and make every day worthwhile. I took a step back to evaluate my most important values and consider what needed to change in my work and my life to honour these.

I’d worked in Investment Banking for several years, and while I enjoyed the work and worked with great people, it also afforded me a great lifestyle. However, the hours were long, and I wasn’t spending as much time with my family as I would have liked. I made the decision to leave banking and set up in business myself.

This took time as first I needed to figure out what I wanted to do next, and then I needed to retrain. It was quite a juggling act initially: working to bring in much-needed income while studying and subsequently gaining practical experience to launch my new WorkLife.

Although tough, it was extremely enjoyable, and from the outset, I was carving a lifestyle in line with my needs and values. Now I both plan for tomorrow and live for today. At times it can be extremely challenging, but it’s also extremely rewarding.

When I begin working with a client who’s considering a WorkLife change, quite often it’s because of a particular turning point in their life, and they’ve come to realise that life is too short for them not to be living it fully.

In light of the reality that life is short, what are the important elements you need to include in your life to ensure you’re fulfilled and motivated in both your work and your life outside of work?

To get started in your thinking, take time to reflect on the following questions:

▪ What do you want to accomplish? Contribute? Complete? Create or build?

▪ What legacy or reputation do you want to leave behind?

Perhaps now is the time to create the next chapter of your life story.

I first shared this story some years ago on my original, now-defunct blog: Evolving Careers Players. I’m sharing it again because I believe it’s as relevant today, and it was all those years ago.

Published by Carmel O' Reilly

Carmel O’ Reilly: WorkLife Learning Practitioner & Writer Author of WorkLife Book Club, Your WorkLife Your Way and The School of WorkLife book series. Created to help you manage your WorkLife Learning. Blogger & Podcaster: Telling people’s powerful stories about WorkLife challenges & successes Founder of My guiding statement is to help people pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, passion, purpose and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes that are accessible to everyone.

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