Creating new chapters in your body of work

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The Beginning

Eighteen years ago today, I packed up my things at my beloved desk at Barclays Global Investors, on the 29th floor of a large building on Fremont Street in San Francisco. I walked out the door with great memories.

I had a wonderful ride as Director of Training and Development. I met smart, interesting colleagues, was forever turned on to the field of training and development, and experienced the best managers I have had before or since, Barbara Sanner and Kris Billeter.

I was about to turn 30. I had pneumonia. I had worked a “side hustle” in the evenings for over eight years as the volunteer executive director of a non-profit martial arts organization, in addition to working a demanding day job. I was tired, and ready for a change.

I had no idea what was next in my career. Working on the human side of business was not the question — I loved that field. I just wanted to find the best place and work mode to be challenged and grow creatively.

I interviewed at a bunch of places and got some job offers. But nothing sounded interesting.

That is when I got the idea to freelance for a short while for my former manager Kris, who had moved to Hewlett-Packard.

I started on a big project to redesign HP’s worldwide management education curriculum, and became instantly hooked on consulting.

The next 10 years were an amazing adventure that brought me into hundreds of different companies, where I worked with thousands of smart people who wanted to become better managers and leaders, improve team communications, design their jobs and organizations in a smart way, and communicate effectively with their employees.

The Next Chapter

After ten years of that work, I was ready for a new adventure. I had spoken to many people over the decade who were interested in working for themselves, or starting up interesting entrepreneurial ventures on the side of their day job.

That led to starting the Escape from Cubicle Nation blog, which turned into a thriving coaching business, book and community.

Helping people design and launch businesses, while growing their  leadership and business skills, was tremendously exciting.

Building partnerships with large organizations that served the small business market was extremely rewarding.

And then, after nine years (notice the general pattern?), I began to itch for a new challenge.

The New Idea

Having worked in just about every work mode possible (employee, entrepreneur, stay at home mom, freelancer, non-profit volunteer), I wanted to help the broader market see the unique new skills required to thrive in this wild ride of the new world of work.

This led to writing Body of Work and launching this new site.

This led to partnering with Susan Cain and Quiet Revolution to undertake a big, audacious project (The Quiet Leadership Institute, more about that soon!) that will empower introverts to use their natural strengths in the workplace, for the benefit of us all.

We have so much more in common than we think– people in every work mode want to know that the work they do matters, they want to enjoy what they do, and they want to know that they will remain highly employable, no matter the economic climate.

My heart sings when I get to help individuals, organizations and communities work together to create positive, productive and sustainable economic growth. So that is my next challenge!

The Vision for This Space

My vision for this next phase of my body of work, housed here at pamelaslim.com,  is that I will share:

  • Tips and tools for identifying your unique talents, your ideal work projects and your value in an ever-changing marketplace
  • Stories of individuals and companies who are doing a great job of communicating the thread that ties their brand story together
  • Interviews with creative thinkers, makers, doers and be-ers (is that a word?)
  • The broadest representation of who we are in the working world, including professions, people and communities that don’t get as much mainstream exposure as they should
  • Best practices for leading organizations in the new world of work
  • Stories about communities (like Fargo, North Dakota) who are working to improve their economies and social fabric by encouraging industry, academia, government, creatives and entrepreneurs to work together on mutually beneficial initiatives

I look forward to you joining me on this next stage of my body of work adventure! If it is anything like the last few, we are in for a very fun and wild ride!

18 years old in my country means you are legally an adult. So it is time to get serious about this mission!

Now a question for you:

What’s next in your body of work?

I want to know! Please share below in the comments.

 

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. I have no idea what’s next in my body of work, and that is good. What’s next is a question that Jim also asks his basketball coaching audience regularly! What’s next is a great question.

    I’m thrilled for you, Pam, and the journey that you continue to make bringing inspiration, clarity and motivation to people everywhere. I am with you all the way.

    Happy birthday to your body of work. And happy birthday (almost) to you!

    • I am so lucky that you have been on this journey with me for a long time Jennifer! I am so proud of what you and Coach have accomplished this year!

      I also look forward to helping you figure out what is next for you.

      Thank you so much for your support and friendship!

  2. I’ve been working as a food blogger and writer for the last two years, but now I want to move into life coaching and working with left brained people on tapping into their creative sides. I’m so excited about it. I’ve applied for a training program that starts in January, and I’m feeling good about my chances of getting in! 🙂 I’ve already made my action plan for 2015, and for the first time ever, I feel ahead of the game and so excited about what’s to come! Hooray for pivoting and starting new chapters in life. I look forward to keeping up with this new endeavor, Pam. Thanks for all the fine work you do!

  3. So very inspiring, Pam. Can’t wait to see how this continues to evolve.

    For myself, I’ve figured out the *what* and most of the *how* (a combination of coaching, training and sacred ceremony officiating), but am still in the dance of learning to create the day-to-day structures that support my over the top creativity and QuickStart-ness. I might bring this to your next monthly call, I look forward to your insight.

    And in the meantime, ¡muchas felicidades! Your body of work is tremendously inspiring to me.

  4. I actually recently left the wearable tech start-up world to go back to corporate non-profit and I couldn’t be happier. I now have time to savor life, spend infinitely more time with my wife/family/friends, play and pursue all of my passions outside the one I get to work on every day at the office, ending cancer. The world is full of possibility again and I’m anxious to continue honing my craft to make a dent in this world.

    Congratulations on your own career pivot. Having just recently watched your excellent interview with Ramit (for his RBT group), I’m looking forward to your next body of work. Best of luck!

    • So cool Ryan!

      I love how you are shifting your work to fit your priorities. Time with family is one of mine too!

      So glad you are connected with Ramit and his work. Love him!

  5. Congratulations Pamela! Inspiring you are! Building Actionplanr team, mobile, and web version is next for me. The productivity app space is an over-crowded one no doubt, but I see so much room for improvement in how we work, live, and get things done. We are building our TRIBE here at Actionplanr and I feel lucky to serve them.

  6. Congrats on the new site! It looks great.

    You’re going to spread so much good and help so many people!

    I’m glad there is a place for all of you now and not just the one facet of your awesomeness.

    As far as the next step in my body of work, working on it. 🙂

    • Thanks Chris!

      It feels good to have a web home for all of me. 🙂

      Can’t wait to watch you develop the same. And I am so glad you have agreed to be my shipping partner, along with the amazing Susan Baier. We will all do great things this year!

  7. Whoa, congrats Pam! 18 years is a massive accomplishment. I’m at 16 years now working for myself. I can’t wait to see what your new/next adventure holds. *fist bump*

    • Way to go, you!!

      Your work is so amazing, cannot wait to see how it continues to evolve.

      I am also happy to be your slightly older sister on the biz anniversary front. 🙂

  8. Great Trek Pam, let’s see this next nine year cycle BOOM.

    I have enjoyed taking analysts beyond their very capable ability to make in formation out of complicated data, to using that information to take actions that shift the bank.

    I have put it out there to be part of transforming the largest bank in Africa (by assets) into an agile entrepreneurial culture of leading through delivery. I have a great team, and am enjoying every minute of them. We are simply going to make our circle of influence bigger to get this transform right! #MovingForward

    • How cool is that Thabo?

      Your work sounds amazing. I can’t wait to do a story on it! 🙂

      I have it on my life list to bring my family to meet yours in Africa. Give me a year or two and we will make it happen!

  9. I am so excited to see how this unfolds!! Especially about Quiet Leadership Institute. I am a great fan of your work and Susan Cain’s and recommend both of your books to so many of my clients (who are usually introverted leaders)!! Congrats !!

    • Thank you so much Susan!

      I am really psyched about the Quiet Leadership Institute too. There is so much possibility, and working with someone with the heart, mind and spirit of Susan is a true privilege.

  10. Congratulations, Pam, on your 18 years of achievement and all the success you’ve created, for yourself and others. I just finished “Body of Work” and found it truly transformative. I’ve been a communications professional for 20+ years and was laid off this summer. That should be bad news, right? Instead, I consider it a gift and an opportunity to re-tool my career and re-engage with my individual experiences, skills and talent — to leverage my own body of work and build something new and rewarding. p.s. I am sharing my discovery of you and “Body of Work” with friends and family! All the best to you …

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