How to Drive Your Vision Through Your Motivated Abilities

We All Have ‘Can Do’ Abilities. But It’s Our ‘Motivated’ Abilities That Drive Our Vision

Photo by Barbara Kyrsztofiak on Unsplash

“Everyone deserves an opportunity to succeed.” 

Those words had impacted Una as a teenager and have remained with her ever since. 

They went on to be the words that represent her Vision statement at the volunteering coaching company she founded to help people from less advantaged backgrounds do well in their WorkLife.

Together with the words: 

“Do what you can do to make a positive difference in someone else’s life.”

These words have been Una’s motivation in driving her vision. Because she believes we all have the ability to follow this motivation to drive our vision. 

Una grew up in a farming community in a remote part of Ireland. She was part of a loving family, but life was hard, and they often struggled to make ends meet.

Una and her two older siblings had no expectation that they would go to university. They simply couldn’t afford it. As soon as they reached sixteen, which was both the age they would finish secondary school and the legal working age, they would need to get a job to support the family. Una’s sister, Bridget, got a job at their local grocery store, and her brother, Seamus, got night shifts at their local pub, allowing him to help out on the farm during the day.

Una was expected to follow suit, and she was fine with that. That was how life was, and she wanted to play her part in helping her family survive financially.

In her final year at Secondary school, the Head Mistress brought in Deirdre, a Career Coach, to work with the students to help them gain perspective on what they wanted to do in their lives on leaving school. Most of Una’s classmates were planning on going to university. Some knew their course of study. Others didn’t. Deirdre’s role was to help the students gain the clarity they needed that would help them get the most out of the next steps they were all about to take as they embarked on their WorkLife journey. 

Before working with each of them in one-to-one coaching sessions, Deirdre addressed the class to talk about her work and answer any questions they may have.

It was the answers Deirdre gave in response to these two questions that deeply impacted Una:

Question: Why did you become a career coach?

Answer: Because I believe regardless of a person’s background, everyone deserves an opportunity to succeed. I believe I can play my part in supporting that.

Question: How do you support that?

Answer: I do what I can do to make a positive difference in someone else’s life.

Fiona shared a short story of how when she was growing up. Her family didn’t have money for extras, such as outings. She never asked to go anywhere or do anything that would cost extra money because she didn’t want her parents to feel bad. 

Continuing her story, she said: “I loved to play camogie as a girl, and I was picked to play for our local team. There was a bus to take us and from the matches, and we always came straight home afterwards. Until the day we won the county final, when on the way home, we stopped at a restaurant to have something to eat by way of celebrating our win. As all the other players trooped off the bus, I remained in my seat. I didn’t have money to pay for the meal. I hadn’t asked my parent’s as the rest of my team had asked theirs. I knew they didn’t have the money, and I didn’t want them to feel bad.

Then our coach came to get me and said he was getting my dinner. At first, I said no, because I couldn’t repay him. He told me he didn’t need me to repay him, that I just needed to do something to help someone else whenever I could. The kindness he had shown me through his words and actions made such an immediate positive impact on me that I vowed to myself that I would show the same kindness to someone else whenever I could, to honour what my coach asked me to do.

Una loved Deirdre’s story, and she loved their coaching sessions.

Deirdre took time to get to know Una. She asked what she enjoyed most about school and what her dreams were. Una shared how she loved the Irish language, and she also loved the arts. She talked about the Irish college summer camp that ran each year, where students from all over the world came to learn to speak Irish. Irish students who did Irish language classes as part of their curriculum went to improve their ability. They learnt and improved their language skills through song, music and dance. Una said she dreamed of going, but it was just a dream, and she knew it would never become a reality. This being her final year at school would be the last opportunity she would have to go, and that just wasn’t going to happen.

Una was about to be proved wrong. Because of an intervention by Deirdre. The Irish college offered two scholarships every year to the summer camp. To apply, Una was required to do a written and oral exam. She aced both. Then she was required to have an interview. She aced that too. The interviewers recognised Una’s ability and her love of the language and the arts. 

But going would mean that Una couldn’t apply for a job immediately on finishing school, and she’d also need pocket money while she was there. Una didn’t feel she could go. She hadn’t actually told her family about the scholarship. At first, it was because she didn’t know if she would get it, and now it was because she felt her family needed her support, and it would be selfish of her not to do what she could to help them. 

This time Una’s Irish teacher, Ciarán, intervened. Knowing Una’s family needed her financial support, he figured he had a way that would enable Una to help them, and to also attend summer college. 

Ciarán ran weekend Irish language classes for young people who had moved to Ireland and needed support in learning the language, and for students who wanted to improve their ability. He needed help, and he had a budget to bring someone on. He suggested Una for the job, which she happily accepted. He planned to expand the classes to offer after school classes and model the work they did at the summer college to teach the language through the arts. Once again, he suggested Una for the job, and once again, she happily accepted.

So, Una found a way to go to summer school and support her family too.

Una’s natural ability in both learning and teaching the Irish language through song, music and dance was very apparent to everyone. This led to a further intervention. This time it was by Gráinne, the headteacher at the summer school. She believed Una would be perfect for their team, and she suggested Una might like to become a teacher. To do this, she would be required to do teacher training at the nearby college. Gráinne said her college would sponsor her and welcome her onto their team when she had completed her studies, and she could gain experience working with them in the holidays. Once again, Una happily accepted. 

It was too late for her to apply for that year, and that was fine because, during that time, she would work with Ciarán, gaining practical experience and also earning money to help her family. This was an arrangement that she continued when she went off to college, working with Ciarán at weekends during school term and working with Gráinne and the team during the holidays—all the time, gaining experience and earning money to help her family.

On graduating, Una went on to work full time at the Irish college. 

Outside of her work, she founded a volunteering coaching company to help people from less advantaged backgrounds do well in their WorkLife.

Deirdre, Ciarán, Gráinne, and many more people who Una has met along her WorkLife path, have joined her company in volunteering their services and support. 

The Vision statement that guides everything they do is: “Everyone deserves an opportunity to succeed.” 

Together with the words: “Do what you can do to make a positive difference in someone else’s life.”


These words guide everyone’s motivation in driving the company vision because they remind everyone that each of them has the ability to follow this motivation to drive their vision. 

………………………………………………………………………………………………..

As a WorkLife Learning Practitioner and Writer, I create learning programmes and resources to help people manage, develop and transition their WorkLives in good, challenging and bad times. 

I created The School Of WorkLife book series to help people continuously fine-tune their learning, development and growth in the areas most important to them. Click on the series to see all the books available and previews of what’s inside each book. 

How To Drive Your Vision and Motivated Abilities is book 3 in the series. Click on the title to see a preview of what’s inside the book. 

Following Your Vision and Going It Alone Can Be Extremely Lonely

But, Along With Your Motivated Abilities, Knowing How To Go It Alone Is Also The Secret To Getting There

Photo by Jorge Luis Ojeda Flota on Unsplash.

Andreas had experienced severe burnout in his position as a recruitment consultant within the insurance industry. 

He had been working long hours. Not only had there been excessive demands on his time, but there had also been unreasonable demands for the people he was expected to recruit. They, too, were expected to work long hours and do whatever they had to do to achieve the excessive targets set by their companies.

Something had to give. That something was Andreas’s job. And with it went his health and wellbeing. 

There had been a ‘restructure’ within his department, and Andreas was told his job was being made redundant. He believed the ‘restructure’ was simply a way to get rid of him and engineered as such.

For months Andreas had been pushing himself to the limit. He had been exhausted but had somehow kept going. But the moment he stopped working, that exhaustion suddenly hit him with a bang. He was totally wiped out. He experienced extreme physical and mental burnout. 

He needed to take time out to rest and recuperate. But his recovery time needed to be fast because he had to get back to work and earn a living as soon as possible. 

Subscribe to get access

Read more of this content when you subscribe today.

Every week I write three stories about a topic relevant to helping people live their WorkLife in the best way for them. The topics primarily focus on soft skills. I think soft skills are as important as hard skills in being our best. I believe that soft skills are the unsung heroes that drive fulfilled WorkLives.

Two of these three stories are available to everyone. They are free and always will be. I publish them every Thursday and Friday.

The third story is available to members only. The membership cost is £3.00 p.m. I publish this additional story every Wednesday – so members get four/five additional stories p.m. These stories are not better. They’re just extra.

This approach allows me to honour my Purpose: To help people pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, purpose, passion and pride, by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes and resources that are accessible to everyone. 

If you find my work helpful, please consider subscribing to my member’s publication.

As an independent writer and WorkLife practitioner, I love to create resources to help people manage their learning as they strive to live their best WorkLife. Your contribution allows me to do that and is really appreciated.


How To Be Vulnerable And Courageous

“Vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and a struggle for worthiness, but it appears that it’s also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love.” Brené Brown

Image supplied by author

We live in a vulnerable world, and one of the ways we deal with our own vulnerability is to numb it — grief, shame, doubt, anxiety, fear, sadness, disappointment, loneliness, the list goes on. We don’t want to feel these, so we numb them. The thing is we can’t numb these hard feelings without numbing the other affects, our emotions. We cannot selectively numb because in doing so, we also numb joy, gratitude, happiness, and then we’re unhappy because we feel vulnerable.

Whether or not your truth is easy to share, and whether or not you know what speaking your truth will bring about as an outcome, being vulnerable requires courage to be honest about who you are and where you are — the good, the bad, and the emotionally challenging. In sharing what is real for you, you allow people to process your truth, and to respond by showing who they are: their truth.

Kaye’s Story: Vulnerability is a Strength and an Important Attribute of Effective Leaders: A Case Study:

Kay learnt from an early age that vulnerability is a strength. On graduating, straight out of university she joined her family’s long-established department store business, with responsibility for overseeing ladies’ fashion for the company. She was asked to manage a team of buyers, each of whom had been in the industry for several years. While she was fresh out of college, with a degree in business studies, she had absolutely zero buying or management experience. Granddaughter of the founder, she had just walked into the job, and at twenty-three she was very aware that she was far younger and much less experienced than the people she had responsibility for managing.

Kaye wanted to be respectful of this, and so she decided to be honest and transparent about what she didn’t know. In her first meeting with her new team, she acknowledged their experience, and her lack of it. She made it clear that she had so much to learn, and that she would appreciate their help in sharing their knowledge and expertise. She had taken time to learn about each of their backgrounds, and acknowledged each person individually, and the role they had played in successfully building the ladies’ fashion department into a viable part of the business, yielding good profits year on year.

From the very outset Kaye’s intention was to build rapport with each person individually and as a group, and from this gain mutual respect and trust.

She did by:

  • Asking questions and listening before committing to embarking on new initiatives or continuing with old initiatives;
  • She walked in their shoes, which she did by working alongside them, in order to learn the ins and outs of the fashion industry. She was like a sponge soaking up the knowledge and skills that she was gaining at the hands of experts in their fields;
  • When she had to make tough decisions, she took full responsibility for the consequences and learnt from her mistakes. While sharing the credit with others for the successes they achieved together.

The outcome was that Kaye and her team developed a strong rapport built upon a foundation of mutual respect and trust. This led to establishing a complementary working dynamic that allowed the team to grow the department and the business, resulting in them exceeding their goals.

The experience taught Kaye the value of showing vulnerability, and also that it is possible to be an effective leader, even when she was beginning from a place where she lacked the same depth of industry expertise held by her team. She had been nervous at first about showing her vulnerability, because of her age, her lack of experience, and her connection to the family business. But intrinsically she knew that was not only what she needed to do, but was also the right thing to do. From that she learnt that practising vulnerability is a sign of strength, and an incredibly powerful leadership tool.

Develop Your WorkLife Story Chapters

Sharing your story makes you vulnerable. To tell your truthful personal story requires you to reveal a flaw, a mistake, or a difficulty in your WorkLife. This may open you up to being judged. You need to have trust in the people you’re opening up to, a trust that gives you confidence that you’ll be safe, secure and supported. Remember you’re in control of how much you want to reveal.

Kaye’s story is one of the stories featured in my book: How To Be Vulnerable And Courageous, from The School Of WorkLife Book Series.

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.

Quote #20 That Helped Shape The Chapters Of My First Book

To Give People an Understanding Into What the Chapter Was About. To Open Their Thinking without Telling Them How or What to Think

Image supplied by author

Chapter #20 Time For a Little (Or a Lot) Of Self-Analysis The Power Of Apology And The Power Of Speaking Up

Quote #20 “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start from where you are and change the ending.”Anon

Followed by my Chapter Introduction:

We can all do or say things that we later come to regret, an in the moment reaction that can leave us and other people feeling anywhere from slightly uncomfortable to totally destroyed. What we do next to be able to move forward will determine how the story ends.

As a WorkLife Learning Practitioner and Writer, I know the importance of serving people’s preferred learning style. Some people like the bigger picture — quotes allow that. Other people like more detail — the chapter introductions allow that.

I like the bigger picture, to begin with, then I like detail. So I like both.

What’s your preferred learning style?

Bigger picture, more detail, or both?

First shared in my book: Your WorkLife Your Way.

The Creative Freelancer Who Came in From the Cold

Then Brought Her Fellow Creatives With Her to a Space Where Their Work Was Valued and Fairly Compensated

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash 

Juliet had found herself out in the cold when she had walked away from a job at a company that didn’t value or fairly compensate her work as a creative. But then something extraordinary happened. When alone in that cold place, she took time to consider her bad situation in line with her values. This led her to finding her way back to a space of warmth that served her values, wants and needs.

Juliet had always felt her purpose was to write compelling stories that capture moments, meaning and magic to make sense of the world while sharing facts and research to challenge how people process information. Her recent experiences – the cold and the warm, led her to feel her purpose was even greater than that. She now believed her purpose was to create a workspace for creatives where their work is valued and fairly compensated. 

Subscribe to get access

Read more of this content when you subscribe today.

Every week I write three stories about a topic relevant to helping people live their WorkLife in the best way for them. The topics primarily focus on soft skills. I think soft skills are as important as hard skills in being our best. I believe that soft skills are the unsung heroes that drive fulfilled WorkLives.

Two of these three stories are available to everyone. They are free and always will be. I publish them every Thursday and Friday.

The third story is available to members only. The membership cost is £3.00 p.m. I publish this additional story every Wednesday – so members get four/five additional stories p.m. These stories are not better. They’re just extra.

This approach allows me to honour my Purpose: To help people pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, purpose, passion and pride, by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes and resources that are accessible to everyone. 

If you find my work helpful, please consider subscribing to my member’s publication.

As an independent writer and WorkLife practitioner, I love to create resources to help people manage their learning as they strive to live their best WorkLife. Your contribution allows me to do that and is really appreciated.

Purpose Wins Over Profit Every Time. In The End. That Is.

But It Can Take Time and It Can Also Demand Courage

Photo by Amer Mughawish on Unsplash

It was 2010, and Sabina was reeling from failing in her first (and only) contract as an independent recruiter in the restaurant industry.

She had, in fact, walked away from the job because she felt she couldn’t deliver on the contract without compromising on her Purpose: To bring good people together to foster connectivity between workers, companies and communities.

A purpose born from the philosophy that workers want to feel a sense of belonging to their company, companies want to feel a sense of belonging to their community, and the community want to feel a sense of belonging to the place they go out to eat.

Sabina had sourced a pool of excellent candidates, but she had concerns about the company fostering that sense of belonging within its workforce and its community. While Sabina understood the importance of businesses being profitable, she didn’t understand why it needed to be profit over purpose, which she believed the company’s aggressive growth plans demanded. Sabina believed truly profitable businesses in industries that relied on bringing people together as a crucial part of both the economy and the emotional fabric of society. Sabina believed purpose and profit could and should co-exist.

And so, Sabina walked away, which meant zero earnings. She didn’t have any other contracts in the pipeline, and there wouldn’t be any good recommendations for her work coming from the restaurant owner. To say the outlook was looking bleak would be a fair assessment of Sabina’s situation.

But this story isn’t about how Sabina turned her WorkLife around and changed company cultures within her industry for the good of all (which she did). This story is about how a clear purpose became the driving force behind all of the decisions and judgements she made — as a result, making a real difference in the WorkLives of the people she served. In so doing, Sabina helped drive profits through purpose.

Fast forward ten years.

Covid-19 pandemic hits, and restaurants are forced to close their doors. Their very purpose for existence, and the thing they do best — bringing people together, is the very thing they’re not permitted to do.

Then as soon as it became safe enough to bring people back to work, the industry came up with as many safety protocols as they possibly could. The restaurants Sabina worked with asked every single one of their people what they could do that would bring hospitality to people, even if they couldn’t bring people into their restaurants.

They came up with ideas, such as: preparing and delivering ready to heat meal boxes; turning restaurants into grocery meal kit kind of stores and into wine stores, canning craft beers for takeaways, delivering baked goods from restaurants to grocery stores and to homes, figuring out ways to have QR codes so no-one would have to touch a menu.

At each step of the way, as they began to open up, first with outside dining and then the different capacities allowed for inside dining, they figured out how they could make it work.

They did this from a place of believing they had to be the change they wanted to see. They wanted their community to start to look, and feel, and smell, and taste like the neighbourhood that had first attracted them. To do this, they needed to get out there and be part of making that happen.

All of this was possible because Sabina had followed her Purpose: To bring good people together to foster connectivity between workers, companies and communities.

Because Sabina had done this from a place of considering soft skills being as important as the hard or technical skills needed to deliver on the job and do good work.

In connecting people, she looked for the following attributes:

Pride: People who take pride in carrying out their work to the very best of their ability;

Optimism: People who are open to giving new ideas a go, in the belief that it could work;

Integrity: People who have the judgement to do the right thing even when it may not be in their own self-interest, and even when no one else is looking;

Curiosity: People who see every day as an opportunity to learn and contribute something new;

Kindness: People who understand how integral kindness is in creating a good environment for everyone;

Self-Awareness: People who are aware of how their behaviour impacts other people’s feelings.

These core attributes formed the foundation that drove Sabina’s decision making in her WorkLife to follow her purpose to connect good people.

These core attributes, and Sabina’s single purpose, now formed the foundation in rebuilding WorkLives, companies and communities.

These core attributes and purpose helped individuals, companies, and communities survive at a time when it wasn’t possible to make profits.

Over time these core attributes and purpose helped once again to drive profits in an industry that relied on bringing people together.

These core attributes and purpose played a crucial role in rebuilding both the economy and the emotional fabric of society.

Purpose had won over profit — In the end, that is.

It had taken time, and it had demanded courage.

But this time, Sabina wasn’t alone in following and living true to her purpose.

This time it was the collective purpose of the people she served. A collective that believed purpose and profit could and should co-exist.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

As a WorkLife Learning Practitioner and Writer, I create learning programmes and resources to help people manage, develop and transition their WorkLives in good, challenging and bad times.

I created The School Of WorkLife book series to help people continuously fine-tune their learning, development and growth in the areas most important to them. Click on the series to see all the books available and previews of what’s inside each book.

How To Use Your Purpose To Help Others is book 2 in the series. Click on the title to see a preview of what’s inside the book.

Creatives Need to Be Valued and Fairly Compensated for Their Work


The Business Impact of Creativity Has Long Since Proved Its Worth. That Needs to Be Recognised and Rewarded

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash.

Juliet resigned from her job as a features writer at a tabloid newspaper.

Why? There were a few reasons. The most pressing being, she didn’t feel valued. She felt her work was undervalued and under-compensated. She was expected to work crazy hours for very low pay and to be thankful for it. She had been with the company for three years, and despite having written compelling story after compelling story, she was still expected to prove herself. She was continuously being told she was only as good as her next story.

The fine straw was when Juliet was asked to help recruit the next group of freelancers. She was instructed to ask each of them to write three stories:

  1. A news story;
  2. An investigative feature;
  3. A human interest story.  

Writing the stories as part of the interview process, and Juliet was OK with that. What she wasn’t OK with was knowing that if they were offered a position, they’d take the job on a wing and prayer, and these would be the first of the stories they would be expected to pitch for free, then hope they’d get paid for their work. 

Juliet realised in that moment that her company would never change. They would never truly value creatives and pay them fairly. She could no longer be part of a company that behaved in this way and she resigned.

She didn’t want to find herself in a similar situation again, and so, as she figured out what she would do next, she reflected on her experience. 

Subscribe to get access

Read more of this content when you subscribe today.

Every week I write three stories about a topic relevant to helping people live their WorkLife in the best way for them. The topics primarily focus on soft skills. I think soft skills are as important as hard skills in being our best. I believe that soft skills are the unsung heroes that drive fulfilled WorkLives.

Two of these three stories are available to everyone. They are free and always will be. I publish them every Thursday and Friday.

The third story is available to members only. The membership cost is £3.00 p.m. I publish this additional story every Wednesday – so members get four/five additional stories p.m. These stories are not better. They’re just extra.

This approach allows me to honour my Purpose: To help people pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, purpose, passion and pride, by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes and resources that are accessible to everyone. 

If you find my work helpful, please consider subscribing to my member’s publication.

As an independent writer and WorkLife practitioner, I love to create resources to help people manage their learning as they strive to live their best WorkLife. Your contribution allows me to do that and is really appreciated.

How To Navigate Your WorkLife and Find Your Purpose

You May Discover It at an Early Stage of Your WorkLife, Or You May Discover It at a Later Stage. Both Are OK.

Photo by Hello I’m Nick on Unsplash

As a young girl, Mary didn’t have any great aspirations about what she wanted to do or be in her WorkLife. Her university choice came about because she knew she enjoyed drama. Growing up, along with her siblings, she enjoyed creating and performing in shows, mostly to their parents, but also to extended family and friends when they came to visit.

And so Mary went to drama school, but while she enjoyed it, she didn’t have the same passion for it as she had for the online creative writing class she was doing in her own time, outside of her degree. She was encouraged and supported by her tutor, who told her she was a good writer. This led Mary to switch from drama to creative writing in her second year. She really loved it and felt she was a better writer than a performer. Although she did keep her hand in with the dramatic arts, switching from doing online classes in her own time to being part of the local drama group.

But on graduating, Mary wasn’t sure what was next. She applied for different jobs and landed herself a role within HR, joining an L&D team in the public sector. She loved creating and delivering learning programmes and discovered she had a natural ability in doing this. What she didn’t love was what she believed was unnecessary bureaucracy — protocols, procedures and red tape that complicated the rollout of programmes, with regards to who was eligible for what learning, growth and development pathways. Mary believed this led to people being treated as human resources (a phrase she really didn’t like) and not as human beings.

Mary had an idea to set herself up as a freelance learning consultant, creating programmes that were accessible to everyone, and so, she left her job. But following a WorkLife pathway as a consultant, she was soon to discover was easier said than done. Because the companies she most wanted to consult for couldn’t pay enough for it to be viable.

While figuring out what she could do next, a friend asked if she would be interested in doing a semester teaching a module on L&D at the business school where he taught. Mary said yes. She enjoyed the experience, and once again, she found that she was good at it.

All the while, she had kept her hand in with creative writing and regularly submitted stories to various publications, many of which were published. She had also kept her hand in with performing arts and was regularly involved with amateur drama productions.

It was these joint activities that led to another piece of work, as Mary was suggested as the ideal candidate to research and write an article for the local drama school about the importance of learning through the arts. This was used by the school in their funding pitch to bring learning and the arts together across different areas of study — from business studies to law, to medicine, to marketing. The pitch was successful, and Mary was brought on board to create and deliver the learning programmes.

Mary had really enjoyed the whole process, and she was back to where she had started, creating and delivering learning programmes. Along the way, she had tapped into her creative writing and her ability to create performances. She had learnt how to create classroom modules and to then teach them. She had also learnt how to research and write academic articles. She did all of this as a freelance consultant, and so, she had cobbled together a way of working that was financially viable in sustaining herself as a consultant. She had done this by honouring what she was good at, by saying yes to things that interested her, by being open to learning what she needed to learn and discovering what she was good at.

Mary had never thought that she had a purpose in her WorkLife. Her thinking was that she was just going with the flow and following wherever it took it, which was true. However, she now realised that she had, in fact, been following her purpose and that it had been guiding her for a long time. She realised that when she had decided she wanted her WorkLife to be about creating programmes that were accessible to everyone, she had, in effect, created her purpose.

She had left her job based on this, which was actually a scary thing to do, but she hadn’t felt fear. Instead, she had felt driven. And when she realised starting out as a freelance consultant, she couldn’t make a living, working with the companies she aspired to work with, although she felt a sense of being blocked, she also felt a sense that she would find a way to push through that. She was in unknown territory, and yet she found a way to navigate through that. She now realised that her purpose had been what had guided her in her WorkLife since she had finished college.

Words of Wisdom

There is a purpose within each of us. For some, it is inherent from a young age. For others, it reveals itself at a later stage of their WorkLife. Whichever is relevant to you, you will not necessarily have the full vision when you start out, and that is OK. You just need to take one step and see where it takes you, then the next step and the next step. As you walk along your WorkLife pathway, you will begin to gain clarity around your purpose. From this, your vision will form and grow; and from this, you can begin to do what you need to do to make your purpose a reality in living your WorkLife with purpose.

As a WorkLife Learning Practitioner and Writer, I create learning programmes and resources to help people manage, develop and transition their WorkLives in good, challenging and bad times.

The focus of my work begins by helping people identify a WorkLife path that’s true to their core values, purpose, and motivation. This is followed through by creating meaningful short and long-term WorkLife plans while enabling self-coaching, self-directing, and self-leadership to drive these plans.

My book, Your WorkLife Your Way, focuses on helping you live your best WorkLife by managing your learning, development and growth, through effective self-feedback, insightful questions and the ability to shape and tell your unique story. Click on the title to see a preview of what’s inside the book.

Creatives Need to Be Valued and Fairly Compensated for Their Work

The Business Impact of Creativity Has Long Since Proved Its Worth. That Needs to Be Recognised and Rewarded

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash.

Juliet resigned from her job as a features writer at a tabloid newspaper.

Why? There were a few reasons. The most pressing being, she didn’t feel valued. She felt her work was undervalued and under-compensated. She was expected to work crazy hours for very low pay and to be thankful for it. She had been with the company for three years, and despite having written compelling story after compelling story, she was still expected to prove herself. She was continuously being told she was only as good as her next story.

The final straw was when Juliet was asked to help recruit the next group of freelancers. She was instructed to ask each of them to write three stories:

  1. A news story;
  2. An investigative feature;
  3. A human interest story.  

Writing the stories was part of the interview process, and Juliet was OK with that. What she wasn’t OK with was knowing that if they were offered a position, they’d take the job on a wing and prayer, and these would be the first of the stories they would be expected to pitch for free, then hope they’d get paid for their work. 

Juliet realised in that moment that her company would never change. They would never truly value creatives and pay them fairly. She could no longer be part of a company that behaved in this way and she resigned.

She didn’t want to find herself in a similar situation again, and so, as she figured out what she would do next, she reflected on her experience by thinking through her values.

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How To Let Curiosity Be Your Driving Force

“The unknown was my compass. The unknown was my encyclopaedia. The unnamed was my science and progress.” Anaïs Nin

Image supplied by author

Curiosity is something that we’re born with. As children, we’re amazed by and question everything. We’re sponges for information and learn at an incredible rate. As we navigate through our WorkLife, curiosity is often the first point of our learning process, stimulating the flow of ideas. Exploratory questioning that builds our attention around what’s piqued our interest is a wonderful tool for unlocking hidden potential in ourselves and the world around us.

Travis’s Story: An Endless Source of Inspiration from Curious Conversations: A Case Study

Travis had written songs for as long as he could remember. It was something that had always come naturally to him. He followed a simple and effective approach, which was always to write the lyrics first, and then create the melodies, which had always flowed from that. A number of his songs had been recorded by his many singer friends. He had always enjoyed the solitude of working solo, but it was also very isolating, he could go for days, sometimes weeks without seeing people.

Two things set him on a path to change that.

1. While on one hand the amount of time he spent alone didn’t bother him, on the other hand, he was beginning to question if it was good for his long-term wellbeing.

2. While in the past his songwriting had always flowed, lately he was feeling blocked in writing lyrics, which in turn was stopping the flow of the melodies. This led him to think that he needed more interaction with people. He felt he needed to be open to new perspectives — or rather, in-person perspectives. Up until now a lot of his perspectives came from his love of reading, and the world that had opened up to him. But now he was feeling that he needed to get out into the real world too, and talk to real people about day to day life.

The idea had come to Travis from a guy called Rob, who he had observed on Instagram. Rob had set out to meet new people because he felt that genuine human connection is something that’s important. He had gone on to meet thousands of people, and encouraged others to take the initiative to reach out to someone new and be open to establishing new relationships.

While the scale of the amount of people that Rob had met was far too much for Travis, he figured he could adopt the idea on a much smaller scale. He also liked that there was no structure or agenda to what Rob did. The idea was simply that two people could spend an hour together, getting to know each other.

Travis’s love of reading, which in turn had informed his song-writing, came from an innate sense of curiosity. It gave him a broad perspective and a wide knowledge base. His intention was to broaden that further through meeting people on a one-to-one basis, to learn about who they are — their interests and perspectives. As with Rob, he wasn’t setting out to interview people; he simply wanted to meet people, get chatting and go wherever the conversation took them. His intention was to be in the moment and to let his curiosity guide him.

Travis’s intentions were all he needed to get started. He didn’t know how it would go if people would want to meet him, and if they did, how many. He followed Rob’s approach and set up an Instagram page, which soon attracted a following from his singer friends, all of whom shared his idea. Quite quickly the meetings started to take place. Again Travis followed Rob’s approach, sharing photos of each meeting and writing something brief about it. This increased the flow, and before he knew it, he was meeting someone new most days.

Did this help his songwriting? Well actually, yes. Within a short space of time, his lyric writing was flowing once again, and from this, the melodies also flowed. Travis believed this was because he got out of his bubble and explored the wider world around him, with open eyes and ears and a receptive mind, leading to conversations that came from a place of curiosity. Travis now has an endless source of inspiration that inevitably finds its way into his songs.

Did this help his wellbeing too? Well actually, yes. Travis came to believe in Rob’s philosophy that genuine human connection is important in today’s world, and like Rob, it also makes Travis happy — and all of that he believes has a positive impact on his wellbeing.

Develop Your WorkLife Story Chapters

Let curiosity be your guide to a more fulfilling WorkLife through a deep and personal connection to the adventures and wonders of the world around you. Be inspired and challenged in pursuit of your next WorkLife chapters.

Travis’s story is one of the stories featured in my book: How To Let Curiosity Be Your Driving Force, from The School Of WorkLife Book Series.

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.