How To Successfully Invent and Reinvent Yourself in Your WorkLife Part 1
My brother, Noel is an amazing cook, and dinner at his house is always a culinary delight. As we both live in London, we’ve shared many Christmas dinners with our respective family and friends.
I remember one Christmas dinner when we were finishing our meal with a traditional Christmas pudding he had made, and I relayed a story of the first Christmas pudding I made.
It was in my first year in secondary school. I gave the pudding to my sister, Olive and her family as a Christmas gift, but when she opened it, she found it had gone mouldy!
My brother relayed a similar story about Fanny Craddock, who secured an order for her Christmas puddings from Fortnum and Mason — the wonderful British Food Emporium who for three centuries have been committed to bringing the world’s best food to Piccadilly. (In their own words).
Now unfortunately for Fanny, the Christmas puddings she made, which were distributed in their Christmas hampers to their elite clients, suffered a similar fate to mine — on opening them, they also found them to be mouldy. Oops!
Fanny Craddock was perhaps the queen of invention and reinvention. By the time she had become the grande dame of TV she had over forty years of WorkLife ups and downs. She took jobs that included washing up in a canteen, hawking penny cures for tired feet at the Ideal Home Exhibition and selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door.
She carved out a minor reputation as a novelist and children’s author under the pseudonym “Frances Dale”. But it was her first recipe book, The Practical Cook, that opened the door to Fleet Street in 1949 when she became a columnist for the Daily Telegraph.
This led to a TV series that was initially suggested as a six-week run about weekend breaks in the country. Evelyn Garrett, Womens’ Editor, said she wanted Fanny “to find out if there is anything left that is worthwhile in the inns of England.” When Fanny asked “What sort of anything?” Evelyn replied: “A warm welcome, honest fare, integrity, Fanny, if it still survives.”
Fanny proposed the name “Bon Viveur”, as it was sexless and covered food, wine and, vitally, travel. This gentle experiment evolved into a five-year voyage of discovery, during which Fanny and her husband Johnnie visited thousands of hotels and restaurants, home and abroad.
Similarly to Fanny, we all have the potential to develop new skills that will allow us to perform in the career of our choice and in line with the demands of the role.
I also believe we all have the capacity and capability to have a number of careers in our lifetime, and the proof of that, I guess, is in the pudding — or maybe not!
As for Fanny, she continued reinventing her WorkLife, becoming among other things the grande dame of cookery TV. She hung up her chef’s hat at the age of 85.
You, too, have the capacity and capability to Invent and Reinvent yourself at Whatever WorkLife stage you’re at.
Fanny Craddock’s story is just one story of people’s remarkable ability throughout history to invent and reinvent themselves at whatever WorkLife stage they were at. How Undertaking an Assignment Can Help You Develop the Skills You Need ( How To Successfully Invent and Reinvent Yourself in Your WorkLife Part 2 is another story and tells the tale of Mrs Beeton’s Cookbook.
[Note: Fanny Craddock’s story was adapted from an article written by Clive Ellis for the Telegraph on 18 December 2007]
Fanny co-authored: The Practical Cook with Frances Dale.
This story was originally published on 27/5/21. 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 from The School of WorkLife Book Series helpful in meeting your learning needs as a self directed learner. Tap the book title to see a preview of what’s inside each book.
Tap The School of WorkLife Book Series to view the complete collection of books. From here, you can tap on each individual title to see a preview of what’s inside each book.
Founder of School of WorkLife, 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.