How to Create a Fulfilling WorkLife That Makes You Jump Out of Bed Each Morning
That makes us want to jump out of bed in the morning and keeps us sustained throughout the day, week, month, year and beyond into the future.
Well, actually, yes, and I can say that because that’s exactly what I’ve done for myself, and I’ve helped quite a few people do it too.
But before I get to that …
What is WorkLife?
WorkLife is our life both in and out of work and the impact each has on the other. I believe WorkLife needs to be considered holistically because all areas of our life are so intrinsically linked they cannot be separated.
In my work I have connected the words Work and Life to express the meaning they hold for me. I capitalise the first letter of each word to highlight their importance and relationship.
These words are from my book, WorkLife Book Club.
And now, back to my WorkLife Story …
A Case Study: How to Create a Fulfilling WorkLife That Makes You Jump Out of Bed Each Morning
7 Insightful Questions to Help You Embrace What’s Important to You in Your WorkLife
Coming from a background in Investment banking, which I actually really enjoyed while I was doing it, which was as much to do with being in a good environment and working with great people as well as the job itself. But it did become mundane towards the end as I was doing it for so long, and so the time came to move on, but move on to what?
That was the million-dollar question.
It took time to discover what that was, but eventually, I arrived at where I am now by way of having a curious mind and an openness to the adventure of trying new things. This led me to interesting experiences to include many excellent courses. Not least my Postgraduate studies in Career Coaching and Career Management with Birbeck University. I know it sounds very cliché, but if there was one WorkLife changing moment, undertaking this degree would be it in terms of where I am now in my WorkLife.
My learning and development have always been important to me, and now because of my studies, I was in a position where I was working with individuals and organisations on their learning and development programmes.
The one-to-one coaching work came easy to me, but I felt inhibited delivering group work – I was incredibly nervous talking in front of an audience, and I also suddenly became quite wooden!
To overcome this, I undertook a foundation year in Drama along with several shorter acting and directing courses, and actually a little writing, drawing and painting too!
It was then I had my eureka moment of how the techniques, structures and methods of theatre making are significant in the world of WorkLife learning and development. The unique skills set performing artists have had to develop in their craft brings learning alive. This is ‘learning by doing’ enabling the practice of new skills sets and behaviours in a safe, supportive, challenging and creative environment.
I was now in a position to combine my knowledge and experience of WorkLife learning and development with drama-based techniques. This enables the individuals and teams I work with to be more active, spontaneous and flexible, freeing their minds to use their imagination to be inventive and original. The intrinsic nature of this work helps foster creativity, team spirit and emotional intelligence.
This was a double whammy for me because, along with a love of learning and development, I am also passionate about performing, literary and visual arts. Now I’ve created a WorkLife that embodies what’s most important to me both in and out of work.
I work with interesting people helping them manage and develop their WorkLife in a way that’s fulfilling, motivating and inspiring for them. And I work with a team of performing, literary and visual artists in delivering the work. We incorporate all aspects of the arts into our work and, by association, our life — A definite win/win!
If you’re at a stage where you’re no longer finding your WorkLife fulfilling, consider the following:
7 Insightful Questions to Help you Embrace What’s Important to You in your WorkLife
- What are your most important core values? e.g. for me, it’s the importance of continuous learning and development, and this is through many mediums – reading, writing, courses, cultural experiences, and even speaking! … eventually!
2. What are your best attributes? – e.g. for me, it’s kindness, curiosity, and a sense of humour.
3. What are your most unusual characteristics? – e.g. I consider myself adventurous – I love new experiences. Brave – I’ve taken risks. Humble – I’m more of a behind-the-scenes kind of person – l love researching and creating. I’m not big on fanfare and awards – my greatest award or reward is knowing my work has had a positive impact on someone’s WorkLife.
4. What are your best mental abilities? e.g. I believe mine are – empathy, the ability to see both the bigger and smaller picture, and the ability to think laterally and understand new ideas.
5. What are your best social skills? e.g. I’m friendly, welcoming, easy company, and interested in people.
6. What are your best business skills? e.g. for me, it’s relationship building, flexibility and adaptability, and communication skills.
7. And what are your most important interests? e.g. for me, it’s performing, visual and literary arts, travel, exploring and discovering new things.
Answering these questions requires self-awareness about who you are and what’s important to you and then taking ownership of that. Some answers may come to you easily. Others may need input from people you trust.
What I mean is, sometimes, when we do things naturally, we perhaps don’t recognise them as being anything special. Or we take them for granted, and it takes other people to point out to us what’s unique and real about us.
For example, I can say I’m kind and friendly, welcoming, easy company, and interested in people because that’s what other people say I am. And as much as I knew that about myself, it felt strange to say it – almost big-headed, but then I recognised that not only is this self-awareness important, but so is taking ownership of who I am.
Answering these questions will hopefully help you create a fulfilling WorkLife because you’re ensuring you embrace what’s important to you both in your work and your life outside of work.
And if, like me, you want to consider a new WorkLife that embodies the things that are important to you, these questions will provide a good stepping-off point to begin exploring your journey to a new and more fulfilling WorkLife.
By having a curious mind and an openness to the adventure of trying new things, I am confident that you, too, will create a fulfilling WorkLife that makes you jump out of bed each morning.
And the wonderful thing about this approach is that you will become a self directed learner in taking control of your learning, development and growth towards a more fulfilled WorkLife.
I can’t think of anything more fulfilling, can you?
This story was originally published on 23/2/15. I needed to republish it to add updates and also to tell you
… The Continuing Story …
The pandemic brought about a change in my WorkLife from delivering in-person individual coaching sessions and group workshops to creating resources to help people self direct their WorkLife learning.
In the last three years, I’ve published 30 books and over 200 stories.
Each book and each story is based on real life struggles and successes that people have encountered in their WorkLife. They also detail the exercises that helped navigate through these situations, which are set as assignments for readers to adapt to their WorkLife situations and learning needs.
I believe stories are a powerful mechanism for teaching, a powerful medium to learn through, and a powerful way to communicate who you are and what you stand for.
My inspiration for creating my work comes from a lifelong passion for learning. My work has taught me that the one thing in life that can never be taken away from you is your learning.
School of WorkLife Guiding Statement: To create resources that are helpful, insightful and inspiring in helping people to pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, purpose, passion and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes and resources that are accessible to everyone.
The resources I create will help you take ownership of self directing your learning in your own space and in your own time.
School of WorkLife helps you self-direct your WorkLife learning through resources that have been created to help you to take ownership of your learning in your own space and in your own time.
What is Self Directed Learning?
Self-Directed Learning is when an individual is motivated to take the initiative and responsibility on decisions related to their own learning. It is a series of independent actions and judgements free from external control and constraint.
Resources to Help You Self-Direct Your Learning
You may find the books below helpful in creating a fulfilling WorkLife as a self directed learner. Tap the book title to see a preview of what’s inside.
You can view the complete collection here: The School of WorkLife Book Series.
Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning. These include a Collection of Books which originated from her first book, Your WorkLife Your Way and a Learn Through Reading Series of Case Studies. which originated from her latest book WorkLife Book Club.
That’s the power of writing (and reading, which is an integral part of the craft for writers), it helps you find, develop and tell the right story at the right time in all WorkLife situations – in day-to-day communication: WorkLife and feedback conversations, presentations, talks, and negotiations, at interviews, and when socialising and networking in building and maintaining good relationships. The practice of writing helps you to tell the stories that express who you are in an interesting and engaging way.