I recently attended a Stress and Resilience Practioners Course at the Joint Stress and Resilience Centre here at Shrivenham. It was a really good course and I left it feeling very positive. One of the exercises that I found especially interesting was when we all had to say what we most enjoyed or loved about our work.
In a room full of people, just 3 areas were mentioned – the environment, the people and the commute (or more specifically, the lack thereof). Nobody actually mentioned the work that they did. Now, I’m not saying that that means nobody enjoys the work, but it wasn’t top of the list about what they did enjoy. So I decided that I should have a think about what I want from each of those categories.
Environment. Here at Shrivenham we are blessed with a particularly nice set of grounds. It is very pleasant, especially in the spring. We have great gym facilities and a 5km trail as well as several picturesque areas where we can break out when we need a bit of down time. For me, I enjoy working in a building with lovely views out to the woods. But I’d happily swap that for working from home or working in a variety of locations, including my home. If I was at home, I’d gladly relinquish the nice coffee shops in favour of the coffee machine in the kitchen and the local place and be ok about swapping the boathouse at the lake for a bench in my own garden.
The people. If I was self-employed, I could be pretty stringent about who I choose to work with. Jo (from the lovely Shinybees) said something to me the other day which has stuck with me. It was ‘definitely pick and choose’ when discussing who to work with. And that’s a good tip. Sometimes people can be the worst thing about a place of work. I’ve definitely had jobs where the people in my office have made me feel less like coming to work. If I choose an employment option, I think I would still like to be in a position to pick and choose more than I do at the moment. So, for instance, going into a consultancy kind of role would enable me to decide for myself a little more who I work with.
The commute. I’ve never had an especially long daily commute, but I do travel a lot at weekends. At one stage, I lived in Northumberland, my (now) husband lived in Buckinghamshire and my step-kids lived in Fife. We travelled a lot. We still travel a fair distance as the step-kids are still up there and we live in Wiltshire. So I really wouldn’t feel that a long daily commute would add to my quality of life, nor my work-life balance. I would happily accept a longer commute on a rare occasion (so maybe once or twice a month) and then work very locally, or at home, the rest of the time over a medium daily commute.
I can see my thoughts beginning to take shape about what it is that I want to do and the kind of lifestyle I want to lead. What I’m still not quite getting clarity on is how exactly to go about getting that, but I feel like I’m in a good place. I’m networking (and recently bought some lovely little business cards from MOO. If you would like to get some too, using this link https://www.moo.com/share/kjkqpg will get you 10% off) and I am building up some really useful and friendly contacts. I’ll talk more about that in next week’s blog as well as giving you a run down on how my Buzzfeed morning challenge has worked. I’m going to try to start blogging on a more regular basis and think that Thursday might be my new blog day. What do you think?