Most Significant WorkLife Transition: From Supreme Judge to Nomadic Social Media Marketer

A Lesson in How to Actively Shape Your WorkLife to Bring about the Satisfaction You Seek
Resources to help you self-direct your WorkLife learning
Learning Resources From School of WorkLife. Resources to help you self-direct your WorkLife learning.

Because my work in helping people make WorkLife transitions into often quite completely new areas, I often get asked the question “what’s the most significant WorkLife transition you’ve seen take place.” Now I happen to think that every WorkLife transition has significance to the individual going through the process, after all they’ve chosen the WorkLife they consider to be inspirational and motivating to them and they’re making it happen.

But I get what people are asking. They want to know about the successful business person who gave it all up and became a circus performer or set up their own little cottage industry that is now a thriving business. Now I haven’t had the circus performer scenario … yet. But a number of clients are doing something completely different in terms of setting themselves up as independent freelancers or consultants, setting up a business or joining a different company, and are leading a more fulfilled WorkLife as a result.

Katie’s story is one of such significance. Katie studied law and worked as a lawyer in Eastern Europe before progressing to become a judge. She was actually quite young when she achieved this, and when I met her was still in her 30s. Now she could have stayed where she was and would have had a very successful career and a very comfortable lifestyle, but she knew this wasn’t what she wanted to do forever and that there was a lot more to life for her, both in her work and personal life.

And so she came to London and we met and began working together. Now, Katie is extremely accomplished and talented, and in terms of careers the world was her oyster. I knew once we discovered what her ideal WorkLife was, she would do what it took to make it happen. The thing was to identify what that was and so our journey to discovery began; and because there were so many options available, we needed to come up with a stringent criteria to evaluate those options in line with her values, motivators, skills she enjoyed using, personable attributes along with her WorkLife vision in terms of where she wanted to be in the next five to ten years.

We had to rule things in or out; or if they fell into the maybe category we had to find a way of understanding why this WorkLife choice may or may not work and then rule it in or out. And so the process continued.

Travel and autonomy were really important to Katie, and so her WorkLife needed to be one that was mobile, that allowed her to work from anywhere in the world. After much exploration she identified the arena of helping people develop their business (she has an MBA) through social media, by way of offering support in building websites and following this through with ongoing social media marketing campaign strategies. And so she set out to gain the expertise she needed to put this in place, and as I said earlier I knew once she discovered what it is she wanted to do, she would make it happen, and make it happen she did.

A year later and Katie has successfully established herself in business supporting individuals and organisations develop their websites and offers social media marketing campaign strategies. Her business is beginning to thrive and when I last met with her, she was passing through London on her way to live in Phuket for a few months. Katie always brings the book Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert to mind, with a big smile as I think of the adventures she’s about to embark on.

Book Wisdom

In Chapter 3 of my book Your WorkLife Your Way, Your WorkLife Vision and Core Motivation, I pose the question: Are you in the right place in your WorkLife or do many of your hopes and dreams remain unfulfilled?

I encourage you to reflect upon that question. I like to suggest journaling as a way to explore what you’re thinking and feeling, which in turn will allow you to give yourself meaningful self-feedback on changes you need to make and steps you need to take.

I go on to ask: Is it possible to actively shape your life so that the choices you make will bring about the satisfaction you seek?

I happen to think it is, and share stories from three people at different stages in their WorkLife — early, middle and later stages.

Words of Wisdom

We all have more than one career within us should we choose to change our WorkLife path.

Sage Wisdom

“And suddenly you just know it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.” Meister Eckhart


Your WorkLife is a series of chapters. The joy of your imagination will allow you to explore and develop these to allow you to make the transitions that are important to you. This is your ongoing WorkLife story.

Most Significant WorkLife Transition is part of a series of stories of people who made changes to their WorkLife to live it with a sense of passion and pride. Stories of people who actively shaped their WorkLife so that the choices they make will bring about the satisfaction they seek. Stories of how people discovered or rediscovered their Worklife purpose.

Today’s featured book is: Your WorkLife Your Way by Carmel O’ Reilly (Me).

WorkLife Book Wisdom Stories:

The intention of the stories I share is to inspire you through people’s stories of their WorkLife experiences. Through these stories, you will learn about people’s dreams and ambitions, along with the challenges, obstacles, failures and successes they encountered along the road of their WorkLife journey. And how they used the power of book wisdom to help them find the inspiration and guidance to navigate their path to live their WorkLife with passion, purpose and pride.

My hope is that these book wisdom stories will help you throughout the chapters of your WorkLife Story.

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.

A Side Note 

The stories I write are based on real WorkLife challenges, obstacles and successes. In some stories I share my own experiences, and with permission stories of people I’ve worked with, whose names have been changed to protect their anonymity. Other persons and companies portrayed in the stories are not based on real people or entities. 



This story was originally published on 9/6/21. 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.

How To Make Your Values Matter 

How To Use Your Purpose To Help Others 

How To Drive Your Vision and Motivated Abilities 

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.

Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning
Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning

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.

Published by Carmel O' Reilly

I'm Carmel O’ Reilly. I'm a writer and learning practitioner. My books and learning resources are designed to help you self-direct your WorkLife learning. As founder of School of WorkLife, 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.