Reimagining work and life


The five steps to reimagining work and life

The events of recent years have caused many of us to pause and reevaluate our careers and lifestyles.

To ask the question: is there something else?

Is there something else that relates to:

• Going back to work
• ‘Pivoting’ in a new direction
• Balancing caring (both younger and older generations)
• Coping with redundancy
• Thinking about semi-retirement
• Being confused or uncertain about the future
• Have you posed this question?

Bridget Murray is an experienced people professional with a deep interest in maximising the potential of individuals; drawing on her capabilities and specialities in human resources, health, safety, wellbeing, career, leadership, work and culture.

So when it comes to reenergising and reimagining work and life, there’s no better person to turn to for her insights and strategies.

Over to you Bridget…

Is this all there is?

It all starts the night before. That feeling of dread, a sort of low grade misery. Then in the morning it comes again; shower, breakfast, time to get in the car (or back online) and go back to that place (or that routine).

Work (or lack thereof) for some of us, can get to a point where the feelings of sadness, frustration and lack of motivation hang like a dark cloud. And it doesn’t stop at the office door (or the “Join” button on the video conference). We carry those feelings around all day and back home again.

We know we aren’t giving our best. We know we are not much fun to be around. We know that the inspiration and energy that used to lift us is absent.

“How did this happen? What about how it used to be? I have worked hard, given my all, but for what?”

“What else is there?”

If you’re going through these thoughts and feelings, believe me you’re not alone. And there’s a reason for this.

Life is complex and things change

  • We start out
  • We get married
  • We have kids
  • We care for family
  • We need to flex
  • We lose our job
  • We get divorced
  • We need a new job
  • We want to pivot
  • We want to change pace
  • We are living longer
  • We want to contribute…

And because of these challenges it can make us feel

  • Empty
  • Stuck
  • Confused
  • Overwhelmed
  • Pressured
  • Unsure
  • Underconfident
  • Not good enough
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Driven to do better
  • Driven to have more
  • Driven to contribute…

I believe we all deserve the opportunity or the chance to love what we do. By love, I mean growing, contributing, feeling significant, feeling valid, connecting with great people and feeling an energy that carries you that little bit higher SO THAT…the flow on effect to not only you, but to your loved ones and the community that you touch is bountiful.

I believe that when you are on fire, the rest of us benefit.

So how can you design a career and life that you love? I’ve nailed it down to 5 steps.

Step 1: Discover

Discover your purpose and what makes you special.

Why? You need absolute clarity on what you hold dear to your heart, what you are great at, what you love, and what your story so far is telling you. Sometimes you need to look back to go forward.

Think of it as defining your Unique Value Proposition.

  • What are your core values?
  • What are your leading strengths?
  • What is your knowledge and experience?
  • What are your key skills and capability?
  • What is your motivation and sense of purpose?

Step 2: Design

Design your perfect job and find your place in the market.

Step 1. Discover was all about looking in. This step is all about looking out. Where do you belong? Here you get into the nitty gritty. The what, where, when and who?

  • What can you do (the role, organisation and industry)?
  • Where and when can you do it (location, flex, days, hours)?
  • Who do you want to work with?
  • Who do you want to serve?
  • What is the nature of your salary compensation?
  • How does all this fit in with your ecosystem (family, friends, pets)

Some people might find that they actually still belong in their current job, company or field. Others might say… the time is right to move on.

Step 3: Create

Create your personal brand and tell your story.

This is like a product marketing exercise. You take the data from Steps 1 and 2 and use it in shaping your unique story or narrative – where you have been, where you are today, where you want to be tomorrow. The result from this Step will be:

  • A relevant and effective resume
  • Boosted personal brand through a refreshed LinkedIn and social media presence
  • A confident and true networking approach aimed at building strong and authentic relationships

Some people might find that they actually still belong in their current job, company or field. Others might say… the time is right to move on.

Step 4: Launch

Launching into the real world! Yes, actually pressing ‘send’ or ‘confirm’.

It’s time to test the waters and start reaching out, applying for jobs, looking for opportunities and interviewing.

The previous steps will put you in a great place to:

  • Feel ‘ready’ to go live and launch with conviction
  • Implement your networking strategy
  • Build the right relationships
  • Learn and use current job search techniques
  • Develop strong interview skills
  • Negotiate the right compensation
  • Start strong

Step 5: Thrive

Creating the right environment to thrive at work and home.

This Step comes once you are settled, and is all about putting things in place to help you balance work and life in the right way for you.

Here you’ll look at:

  • creating the conditions for your success
  • understanding your ‘Resilience Profile’
  • defining your social, emotional, physical and spiritual needs
  • building your support systems
  • planning for results – focus, discipline and effort
  • rewarding yourself and taking breaks at the right times

What I have realised is that we all go through these steps, at different times throughout the many and varied phases of our career and life.

You might be:

  • a graduate trying to figure out the direction you want to go
  • mid-career moving up the ranks
  • mid-career pivoting to a new field, industry or organisation
  • relaunching your career after a break (e.g. raising a family, caring for ageing parents, illness)
  • retiring but not ready to hang up the boots quite yet.

Wherever you sit right now, you will always be discovering more about yourself (Step 1), thinking about what’s next (Step 2), telling others about your plan (Step 3), making it real (Step 4) and aiming for that balance to thrive (Step 5).

People experience a huge sense of relief when they say out loud all of those feelings and explain that dark cloud that has been hanging over their head. And it’s so much easier to have a structure, process and pathway to follow to move from TODAY to a better TOMORROW.

Bridget Murray Guest Author, Reimagining work and life

Bridget draws upon more than 25 years of experience leading teams and multi-business projects and has consulted across multiple sectors (e.g. health, financial services, manufacturing, professional services, retail, emergency services, logistics, hospitality, forestry) and at all levels within corporate, government and for-purpose organisations. She thrives on engaging and leading people through complex periods of transition and growth.

Bridget Murray

And if you would like to talk to one of our advisors about any aspect of your financial life, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 1300 388 285 or or contact us here. 

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